February 12, 2009 - Thursday of Septuagesima

Daily Lectionary: Job 8:1-22; John 4:27-45

Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.” (John 4:34)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. There's been a lot of food talk this week. Of course we need food to keep us physically strong and healthy. We love to take that to extremes, however, and really pig out. Just one more slice of pizza, another bowl of soup, a few more French fries. Sometimes we just plain eat too much. And we sure waste a lot, too. Sometimes we live as if food is our god. Go an hour too long between meals and we're miserable. Well, chalk it all up to our sinfulness.

Jesus ate, too. He is true man, after all. But even food wasn't a vice for Jesus. He tells His disciples that His food, His nourishment is to do the Father's will. Could you do that? Could you replace that cheeseburger with some good works for your neighbor? Would you give up the buffet line for helping someone in need? Would you trade the drive thru window for some prayer time?

Jesus has one purpose, one mission, one thing on His mind: to save sinners. In order to do that, the Son becomes man. He is born of the Virgin in human flesh. He's not inhuman. He has to eat and sleep like anyone else. But unlike everyone else, our Lord doesn't make those things His priority or even any kind of big deal. For Jesus, being in the flesh doesn't mean He gets to stuff His face. It means He gets to please His Father by taking our sins upon Himself, becoming a curse and washing away our sins by the blood of His cross.

In our sinfulness, we hop from one thing to the next, always wanting something more, something different, something to fill our appetites and lusts and wants. Jesus, on the other hand, wants one thing: to do what His Father wants. And His Father wants us saved. So Jesus saves us.

Yes, you have your favorite food. But you also have heavenly food: water of the font, words of the Scriptures, body and blood of the altar. This is your true food. Eating it won’t somehow make you become good. Rather, it is your food because by receiving these gifts of Jesus you receive Jesus Himself who did that good work and “ate” that food of His Father's will, saving you by doing so. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

For us baptized, for us He bore His holy fast and hungered sore; For us temptation sharp He knew; For us the tempter overthrew. (LSB 544:3)