What’s your favourite food? If you were a prisoner on death row, what would you request for your final meal before execution?
Tough question. I have so many ‘favourites’ that it’s hard to decide which is #1. Corned beef with white sauce, mashed potato and veg, maybe. That would have to be in the Top Ten – maybe even Top Five.
Pumpkin soup with fresh bread rolls to dunk – mmm! A winter wonder. Or Meatloaf with BBQ sauce. Or Spaghetti Bolognese. All simple foods, but all some of my favourites.
What about fried Fritz with homemade tomato sauce, mash and veg? I love that! Takes me back to my childhood. If you have to ask what Fritz is, you betray your lack of ‘South Australianness.’
I sometimes joke that Roast Lamb is God’s favourite food. He seemed to consume a lot of it in the Bible. In fact, He insisted on it whenever someone wanted to approach Him in the Temple. Good choice, God. Roast Lamb and roast veg is hard to go past.
What was Jesus’ favourite food? Lamb with bread and wine was certainly up there. “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer” [Luke 22:15].
But there was one food He desired even more…
“My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work” [John 4:34]. There it is. Jesus desired no food more than He desired to do the will of His Father.
Everything Jesus did, every story He told, every person He healed, every table He overturned in the Temple, every taunt He received, every lash of the whip He endured, He did because He was “eating His favourite food.”
His food was to do His Father’s will – all day, every day; to do no more, nor no less than He was sent to do.
There is a sense in which Jesus was ‘not His own man.’ Although He was the all-powerful, all-knowing, all-wise God of the universe, He was also a servant, who only did what His ‘master’ told Him to do.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing” [John 5:19].
Jesus was no mindless robot, pre-programmed to serve. But He had a high calling – to fulfill the plan of God for the salvation of a rebellious humanity. That’s you and I, folks, and every person who has breathed this air.
We should thank God every day that Jesus got His fill of His favourite food. When He was hanging on the cross, He cried out, “It is finished!” The work He was sent to do was completed. He had eaten His fill of His food. He had perfectly obeyed His Father, and in the process, defeated the trinity of our enemies – sin, death and the devil.
And He did it that we may live and be reconciled to a holy God.
What is an appropriate response to this act of grace and mercy? Only that we should seek to eat the same food of obeying God and doing His will.
What has God been calling you to do – what food has He been preparing for You to eat? Are you distracted from serving Him wholeheartedly by work, by family, by hobbies, by laziness?
Is He calling you to be a faithful father, a devoted wife, a conscientious employee? Is He is calling you to feed the poor, show hospitality to strangers, defend the downtrodden? Is He calling you to quit your job and go preach the gospel in India, New Guinea, Russia?
Whatever the meal He has prepared for you [see Eph 2:10], you will find no greater satisfaction than to serve the Lord wholeheartedly in whatever task He has for you to do.
For there is no better food than to serve God faithfully while we live. “… seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” [see Matt 6:25-33].
And one day, when you have had your fill, when you have eaten every last crumb of this meal, you will hear your Father say, “Well done, good and faithful servant… Enter into the joy of your master” [Matt 25:21].