John 4:31-34 MEAT TO EAT THAT DOES NOT MEET THE EYE
Jesus had told the Samaritan woman that if she only
knew the gift of God that He was offering to her and if she
only knew who He is that she would ask of Him and He would
give her living water that would spring up into everlasting
life. She did not understand, but she asked anyway,
thinking that He was asking for literal water from the well.
Jesus continued to talk with her in order to to help
her until she did understand and to accept Him as Savior.
After the woman was saved she told the men of Sychar to
come see a man whom she believes to be the Christ.
About the time she left to go into Sychar, the
disciples came to Jesus and sought to get Him to eat. He
told them that He had meat to eat that they knew nothing
about. He had meat to eat which did not meet the eye.
I. The disciples effort to get Jesus to eat
V. 31, "In the mean while his disciples prayed him,
saying, Master, eat." It was almost when the disciples
left Jesus to rest on the well while they went into the city
to buy food. By the time they returned, it must have been
fully and perhaps past . They quite naturally
expected that He would be even more tired, more thirsty and
more hungry. When they gave Him food and urged Him to eat
they were not really prepared for His answer.
II. The surprising response from Jesus
V. 32, "But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that
ye know not of." Jesus, instead of being tired and hungry
seemed rested and energetic. He informed them that He had
eaten some food that they were not aware of. "I have meat
to eat that ye know not of." The word, meat, as used here
means "food." In effect, Jesus said, "I have already eaten,
thank you. I had food to eat that you did not know about."
The disciples were more puzzled than ever. V. 33,
"Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man
brought him ought to eat?" They immediately began to
inquire among themselves if somebody in the group had given
Him food. Nobody had.
They then wondered if somebody other than themselves
could have given Him food while they were gone. They
decided that this was not likely. They wondered how He
could have gotten food without somebody giving it to Him.
Surely He did not have food under His cloak at the time when
they left to go and buy food. They must have been
suspicious that He had used His miraculous powers to get
food. But even that was not what had happened and that was
not what Jesus was talking about.
III. The explanation which Jesus gave
V. 34, "Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the
will of him that sent me, and to finish his work." Now this
the disciples did understand. At least, they partially
understood. They understood that He was talking about God
the Father in heaven. He was talking about His desire to do
the will of God the Father. He was talking about His
witness to the Samaritan woman and winning her to salvation.
Jesus was, in effect, saying to them that having the
opportunity to witness to the Samaritan woman and win her to
salvation had an energizing effect on Him. It had
rejuvenated Him and made Him feel rested and refreshed. It
had taken away His hunger for food. He had been tired and
hungry, but now He was neither tired nor hungry.
God the Heavenly Father had sent Jesus into the world
to seek and to save lost souls. It was a joyous experience
for Jesus to witness to this woman and give her that living
water that springs up into everlasting life.
Keep in mind that Jesus is God, but He is also man.
And He is one happy man at this time. This woman had come
to Him lost and hell bound. But she went away saved and on
the road to heaven. She had come to the well for literal
water, but she had gone away with living water and with
great joy in her soul. She was a happy woman.
Jesus also was a very happy man. He was so happy that
He was no longer hungry for food. He had eaten food for the
soul which had filled Him to the brim with joy.
Listen, it is amazing just how happy Jesus became
because of the salvation of this one soul. The Scripture
tells us that there is rejoicing in heaven when one soul is
saved. This time there was rejoicing right here on earth.
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was rejoicing that this woman
placed her faith in Him so that He could save her soul.
IV. An insight into the life and ministry of Jesus
Listen, we get an insight right here into the inner joy
that Jesus experience every time someone was saved under His
preaching. He must have had this same kind of joyous
experience numerous times already. In a previous text we
read that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than
John. Surely that must have meant that Jesus had saved
those people. He saved them or surely He would not have
baptized them. What joy the Lord must have experienced
every time someone trusted in Him and was saved. Even then
during those days when He as baptizing so many people before
the disciples knew nothing about. Even back then, He had
meat to eat that did not meet the eye.
But all of this was taking place in the very early part
of His ministry. There must also have been similar
experiences throughout the remainder of His ministry.
I hope you can get an insight into the total ministry of
Jesus. We know that His life here on earth was not a life
of luxury and ease. It was not a life that was filled with
earthly joys and earthly pleasures. It was a life of
sacrificial labor, hardship and criticism. But there was a
deeper inner joy that filled His soul every day. He was
glad to be able to carry out the will of God. It was a
special joy to be saving the souls of men, women, boys and
girls. It made His life fulfilled.
I would also call your attention to the word "work" in
verse 34. There was much work yet to be done for God the
Father. He had already organized a small group of people
into a New Testament church. He must teach and train these
people. He must prepare them to carry on the work after He
There was also the great work that He must do on the
the souls of men. The whole work of salvation was dependent
on the work that He would do on the cross. This would be
for Him a most horrible experience. It would bring Him
suffering untold. The physical and emotional pain would be
indescribable. But in spite of the pain and suffering that
He would endure, there would still be untold joy within that
He is able to carry out the work of God the Father and save
the souls of men.
I feel sure that even after Jesus explained to His
disciples what He was talking about, they still could not
very well understand it. Now that Jesus had explained, they
knew that He was talking about the joy of doing the work and
the will of God the Father, but they could not very well
understand just how great that joy must have been for Him.
I am not sure that they ever understood fully.
But I do think that the time came in their own lives
that they had a much better understanding than they did on
that day at the well in Samaria. The time would come after
Jesus had gone back to heaven when the work of God would
depend on them. It would be up to them and other church
members to carry on the work of God after He was gone.
They, of course, could not save souls as Jesus did. But
they could present the gospel message so that the lost could
be saved. They could not establish a new religion as Jesus
did, but they could organize new churches of like faith and
order as the one Jesus had founded. They could not go to
the cross and pay the sin debt for the souls of men, but
they could go to the nations of the world and preach the
I am most certain that as they carried out the work of
God here on earth, they felt a joy similar to that which
Jesus felt at Jacob's well. I am sure that they experienced
this joy because they were energized with a zeal for God
that could only have come from such joy. It was a joy that
was more satisfying than sitting down to eat a good meal.
It was a joy that made carrying on the work of God more
important that dinner time. It was a joy that made life
V. An insight into our own lives
This is a joy that even we have experienced to some
measure in our own lives. It is, indeed, a joy to be saved
by the grace of God and on our way to heaven. At least it
is for me and I am sure that it is for each of you who are
It is likewise a joy to be able to serve the Lord. It
is a joy to be a member of a New Testament church. It is a
joy to have a responsibility in carrying out the work of the
Lord. It is a joy to be able to preach His word from the
pulpit. It is joy to be able to teach His word in the
classroom. It is a joy to be able to witness to an unsaved
person and tell him what Jesus has done for me and what
Jesus can do for him.
It is a joy to be able to contribute to the work of God
with my money. I say "my money." It is not really my
money. It is really the Lord's money that He has let me use
for a little while. It is a joy to be able to use a part of
His money for His honor and glory and to carry on His work
in this world.
This is a meat that satisfies the soul that the unsaved
world knows nothing about. They cannot understand why
people sacrifice their time and sacrifice their money and
devote their lifes to the Lord. But to us it is a joy that
is far greater than earthly pleasures.
It is my prayer that we will be faithful to God to
carry on His work in a way that will please Him and bring
glory to His name.
It is my prayer that we will be able to witness to the
lost and win some of them to Jesus for salvation. I believe
that Jesus gets just as much joy today when someone is saved
as He did when that Samaritan woman got saved. In other
words, I think Jesus would get just as much joy out of
saving you as He got out of saving her.
I am going to call on you who are unsaved to put your
trust in Jesus right here today and get saved. I am going
to call on each of you who are saved to commit yourself to
doing the work of God in order that you may experience that
inner joy which Jesus talked about in this text.