Labor for the Food that Endure to Eternal Life

by Steven Chan
18 October 2009

In this world we are concerned with many things – chief among which is that which pertains to food – whether we have enough food and what to eat. As they say, a hungry man is an angry man!

An interesting conversation took place in John 4:31-32 between Jesus and his disciples: “Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.”

Whilst food is important for our nourishment, sustenance and enjoyment (I Cor 6:13; I Tim 6:17), Jesus exhorted us in John 6:27: “Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.”  Life is not all about food. Life is more than just food. There is food that perishes and there is food that endures to eternal life. Yet, many spend their entire life and energy for food which perishes! – so much so that they do not have time and energy to work for the food that endures to eternal life! Guess what? We’d rather give up our effort and energy for the food that endures, rather than spare some time from their busy pursuit for the food that perishes! Yet, we think we seriously really want ourselves and our friends to go to heaven!

In John 4:34-35, Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.”

Jesus practiced what He preached. To Him, doing the will of God – and especially the work of sowing the seed of the Word of God and the harvesting of souls – represent His food – the food that endures to eternal life. According to Jesus, we need to lift up our eyes and see that the field is white unto harvest. But we must see with the eyes of faith! Otherwise, we would think that there is no one seeking for the Lord out there. Yet, the Lord has shown us time and again that there are many seeking for the truth. We need to put more effort and prayers into our work for the Lord if we are serious about wanting to help people go to heaven.  May the Lord help each one of us.