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“I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” [John 4.32]

When there is a change of diet, that is, a change of what you eat and what you drink, it is always followed by a change in the body.  A fact and truth lamented by health professionals and profited by businesses in the kingdom of the world and of mammon.

As Jesus was travelling back to Galilee from Jerusalem via Samaria accompanied by His disciples, this statement by Him signalled the newness of things that He was about to show them.  For not only was He speaking of food they knew nothing about, but He would be showing them a drink and a way of life they knew nothing of.  For a change of your food is the first sign of a change in your location, and certainly a sign that you have come to a new culture, a new society, even a new country, nation and kingdom.  And the eating of that food signifies the first assimilation of the new into the old until, if one remains in the new, it completely replaces the old as the substances of a new cuisine of a new country can eventually become the entire substance of a person, especially if he has completely forsaken the old cuisine.  Certainly, the mixing of the two cuisines will produce a person who is different from the one who stuck to the old.

So when Jesus said, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about,” He was in fact introducing them, the disciples, to a new cuisine.  A food that would have such an effect on their physical body that even the way they did things and thought would change.  And then He told them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work,” [John 4.34] a food that they too could have if they were prepared to do the will of Him who sent them and to finish His work.

And what is the effect of this new food on a person’s life?  How does a person who makes doing the will of Him who sent him and finishing His work His food live?  What becomes of his life?  From John 4 onwards as Jesus moved back into Galilee, He began to preach, teach and perform signs, wonders and miracles.  He began to teach with an authority no other teacher had, [Mark 1.22] and backed up His words not only with authority but with power, so that “He even gives orders to evil spirits and they obey Him,” [Mark 1.27] as well as healed the sick even without Himself being physically present. [John 4.50 – the son of the royal official]

Every word and every action that Jesus spoke and did from John 4.32 onwards is in fact a demonstration to the disciples of the change that this ‘new food’, this ‘new cuisine’ would have on their own lives… that they do would be able to do the same.  And He showed it to them as they were sent out in pairs and discovered for themselves that they too could preach and people would listen… they too could do miracles and drive out demons and people would be healed and demons driven out.  All these were happening to them, this change in their physical world.

They were changed… changed from fishermen who could not catch fish and a tax collector who hated his job to men who could do miracles, who could do what others could not do.  It was a whole new way of life that manifested as they received and ate this new food; as they believed, obeyed and practised the teachings of Jesus; as they grew in ways they had not grown before, like a third world child would shoot up in height, weight and strength if he could have what the first world calls ‘junk’ food for breakfast to become a faster runner, a stronger and even more intelligent child who could learn, concentrate and study… all because of the different food.  So this new food Jesus spoke of turned ordinary men who could not even catch a feed of fish into fishers of men.

As with all food, its effect lasts for only as long as you keep eating it.  Taking an example from the world, an obese person only remains obese as long as he keeps eating high calorie food.  The moment he stops, he begins to lose his obesity.  Likewise, an anorexic person only remains deadly thin if he keeps eating nothing.  But the moment he stops eating nothing and begins to eat something, he loses his anorexic body.

Likewise, the moment a person stops eating this new food that Jesus spoke of, then very quickly its effect on his life ceases.  Of course a person who has never even begun to eat the new food can never even begin to experience the new life.  Just as an obese person will never experience weight loss unless he changes to low calorie food, or an anorexic will never gain weight unless he changes from eating air to real food.

In the same way, no one should expect that he would experience a change in his life (style) unless he actually changed his cuisine and partook of it.  What I am saying is this, elect, he who is doing the will of the One who sent him and is finishing the work of the One who sent him should expect to see his life so changed that not only can he leave his life of sin… like the fishermen left their boats, and Matthew, also called Levi, left his tax booth… but he would enter a whole new way of life.  A life where demons are driven out, the sick are healed, water is turned to good wine, food is multiplied, storms are stopped and if you did not have a boat, you could walk out to your favourite fishing spot.  For the life that Jesus lived before His disciples is the life that flowed from His diet, His food.

And just as a change in diet permits an obese person or an anorexic person or a less muscular person to see and do things in new and different ways, ways he has not known before… so likewise, the eating of this food that Jesus has permits a person to see and do things in ways he has not known before.  However, just as a thin person cannot lift a heavy load by himself but requires others to help him unless he eats and builds muscles so that he can do it on his own… so likewise, anyone who does not do the will of God can never begin to do things the way Jesus does them.

And what is that will?  Is it not that “…everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life…”? [John 6.40] However, when you are looking at men who speak and teach things contrary to Christ, who introduce ways of doing things that go contrary to what Christ has done, are you still really looking at the Son and believing in Him?  And since the work of God is “…to believe in the One He has sent,” [John 6.29] then anyone who believes in those who do not obey God or who recommend, teach and do things contrary to what Jesus said and did, has in truth stopped doing the work that is of God… no matter how pious and religious they may appear to be.

You see, it was a good idea to propose someone to replace Judas, but the moment you use the casting of the lot to select the replacement, you have just gone back to what used to be done and not what should be done.  The selection of Matthias by the casting of the lot [Acts 1.26] in the same way Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, was selected by the lot to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense… [Luke 1.9] is like an obese person who has been losing weight going back to creamed donuts.  In that one single act out of ignorance, Peter wiped out everything they had ever learned from Jesus about the new way of living in God where no casting of the lot is needed, but just a simple waiting to hear from God about His choice, His decision… in the same way Jesus chose them after a night of prayer, not a night of casting the lot.

And so like the fatty food creeping back into the diet of an obese person causes him to regain his fattiness, so this old food, this old way of doing things crept in.  And like a person losing his newfound slimness and growing heavy again, so the disciples began to lose their ability to do things that came from the new food, and found themselves going back to doing things the way they used to do it on the old food.  Like an anorexic losing his muscles and finding he can no longer run because he has returned to his old cuisine of ‘nothingness’, so the power to live the new life was lost… and gradually the sick were no longer healed and sent home, but hospices for the sick began to arise to care for the sick; the demons were no longer driven out but appeased by listening to their teachings and adopting them; instead of multiplying the food, collections were made to buy the food, assuming that there was food available to be bought; and instead of stopping the storms, emergency relief agencies were begun to bring relief to those affected by natural disasters.

You see, elect, the moment the disciples continued their indulgence into doing things the old way – casting the lot for a new leader; praying in public at the temple; separating the duty of preaching from the duty of waiting on tables; reintroducing parts of the old way like avoiding strangled meats, food sacrificed to idols and blood; and so on – by and by the body of Christ lost the power and the ability to do things the new cuisine introduced by Jesus gave them.  And so like an anorexic or an obese person who can no longer run to escape because he lost his new found muscle or slimness, so the body of Christ, as it reverted to a food, a diet, a cuisine that kept everyone powerless for hundreds of years, lost its ability to drive out demons with a word, much less a finger; to heal the sick and send them home walking instead of being carried in a pine box; to cause the blind to see instead of hiding the truth from those who seek; to cause the deaf to hear instead of conducting religious services in a language few understand; to give food away for free instead of collecting food for taxes to support the ‘church’ while the ‘real church’, the people who grew the food, starved; and one can go on.  But I think by now you see and hear the point.  If you still do not, then God Himself will have to shout at you from out of a storm.

This new food – food they knew nothing of… to do the will of the One who sent them and to finish His work – was what Jesus wanted to show them… and show them He did as He lived the miraculous life before them.

For with the food comes the ways of doing things you know nothing of until you have changed your diet.  It is when a disciple makes doing the will of the One who sent him and finishing His work his food, that he will be able to see ways of doing things he knew nothing of… like feeding 5,000 from five little barley loaves and two little fish instead of needing more than eight months’ wages; like walking on water instead of catching a boat; like getting to shore immediately instead of rowing the rest of the way; and so on.

So, elect, what then is the secret that is really not a secret at all?  Simple… if you want to be able to do things in a different way, begin with a change of diet.  If you want to live in a new country and become part of that country, begin with a change of your cuisine.

So what is this food we know nothing of?  What is the cuisine of the Kingdom of God?  Is it not to do the will of Him who sent us and to finish His work?

So the question then remains… who sent you, and what of His work remains unfinished?  Answer this and you will see the food you know nothing of.  Eat of it and soon you will be able to do things in ways you know nothing of.

“No apologies to all who are obese or anorexic.  Any reference to you is intentional… for a change of your food will also allow you to do things in ways you know nothing of.”

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