Stoppers at the Wrong End

In John 4:31-38, Jesus told the disciples that His food was to finish the Father’s will as He worked in fields of souls to harvest the fruit of eternal life. We might be tempted to say that the food part was for Jesus alone. However, just as He was sent, so He sends. As He sowed and reaped eternal life, so we sow and reap eternal life. He says that the work was His food, and so it is for us as well. The work itself is wages and fruit and rejoicing. In other words, soul work doesn’t drain us, it fills us.

God made us to be conduits. We drink the living water and then it flows out of us (John 4:14; 7:38). When is a conduit full? Only when the water streams, when the in and out is constant. We often try to plug the “out” end with a stopper, keeping the goodness to ourselves. But that’s disobedience and that sin puts a stopper over the “in” end.

We want others to drink the living water but we don’t want the hassle of them drinking from our spring. We want the rejoicing without the laboring. That means we don’t harvest much. It also means we don’t rejoice much, either. But God calls us to a satisfying life of being spent for others. It’s a humbling work and a full one. That’s the soul food Jesus is talking about.