True Fulfillment

April 15, 2019 at 12:07 pm | Posted in John | 1 Comment
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“He told me all that ever I did.” This was the testimony of the Samaritan woman (John 4:39) who met Jesus at Jacob’s well, and the conversation went from drawing and drinking water to a brief survey of the woman’s somewhat scandalous sexual history. But did Jesus really tell her that He knew “ALL” the things that she “EVER” did? How long would such a recitation have taken? How long would it take for someone tell your whole life story? How much would they have to say to convince you that they knew enough about you to know who you really were and what you were really about? Intellectually, we are able to affirm the doctrine of Jesus’s omniscience, so, by default, He must know everything we’ve ever done, said, and even thought. But how sobering is it to think that He might start describing our past aloud to us, to our face? The Samaritan woman revealed something about her own mindset when she said, “Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did…” (John 4:29).

Her whole identity in her mind was her sinful past. This is not necessarily a correct way of thinking even for a lost sinner. We are all more than our past actions, but it does have an element of reality to it, in that, before we met Christ, we were in bondage to our decisions, which were made in bondage to our sinful natures. In Christ, of course, believers certainly shouldn’t think this way. Our identity in Christ is both new and greater.

In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat?

John 4:31-33

Have you ever been the victim of the kind of misunderstanding that results when you and the person to whom you are speaking think you are talking about the same thing but are actually talking about completely different subjects? There is a classic preacher’s joke that utilizes this theme, and in which a lady is writing to inquire about a “BC,” which, to her, stands for “bathroom commode,” while the letter’s recipient thinks she’s asking about a local “Baptist church.” You can read it by clicking here if you like.

This device is used fairly frequently in the Gospel of John to advance the dialogue between Jesus and His listeners. In Chapter 3 the spiritual “new birth” is confused with natural birth, and, earlier in this same account of the Samaritan woman, the “living water” of eternal life is confused with water drawn from a literal earthly well. Here, Jesus’s disciples wonder how he can be “full” when He hasn’t eaten any actual food. The narrative is moved forward through this misunderstanding in the dialogue, and, once again, it is a misunderstanding between the material and the spiritual.

Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

John 4:34

This was what “filled Jesus up.” The more He served the Father and accomplished His will, the more satisfied and fulfilled He grew. One of the reasons that we, as Christians, sometimes feel so empty inside is that we have too much material or earthly-minded “junk food” filling us up superficially. Consider Jesus, who was filled with the purpose of God more so than worldly concerns. Which type of “meat” do you prefer? What nourishes your soul and your spirit? Your home, your friends, your family? A trip to Disney? Your hobbies? Or is it ministering in Christ’s name? Sharing the Gospel? Helping believers to grow? Reading your Bible? Doing the will of our Heavenly Father is where we should find our true satisfaction and spiritual nourishment in life.

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  1. […] during His earthly ministry, was always “full,” because His “meat” was to do the will of His Father – the will of […]

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