Not by Bread Alone

Jesus and His disciples were tired. They were travelling from Judea, on their way to Galilee, and had to go through Samaria. They’d been working hard with crowds of people. Jesus had been teaching them, and the disciples had been baptising many of them. They came to Jacob’s well at Sychar, and Jesus sat down, tired and hungry. His disciples were tired and hungry too, and they wanted to get some food to sustain them for the rest of the journey, so they went into the town, leaving Jesus at the well.

Perhaps the disciples had hoped Jesus would just produce some food as He had for the five thousand, but instead, He just sat down by the well. Was He listening, in His heart, to the Father saying He had work for Him to do by the well? Did He send the disciples into the village, or did they decide to go themselves? Anyway, He didn’t stop them going, but Jesus knew His Father wanted Him by the well for a reason. There was the woman, whose life would be changed by their encounter, and the people of the village who would believe.

I know I’m sometimes busy, tired, and hungry, but I don’t often stop to ask what the Father wants for me in the midst of it all. I usually rush off, like the disciples, and fix my own needs. When the disciples came back, they tried to get Jesus to eat, but He didn’t want anything, because His Father had ‘fed’ Him. He said “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.” God’s word says that ‘Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God’ (Deuteronomy 8:3 and Matthew 4:4). Do we stop to listen to that word from the Father which sustains us?

Of course, we need to eat food regularly, but what really sustains our life? Are we so focused on what we think we need, and I’m not thinking here only of food, that we miss what the Father has for us? How much do we miss by not sitting by the ‘well’ long enough for the Father to speak to us and touch others through us?

Jesus wasn’t too tired to stop and have a long, deep conversation with the Samaritan woman, and it satisfied him so much that He didn’t feel the need for physical food!

Prayer: Father, help us to listen to Your heart in the midst of the busyness and tiredness of our daily lives, and lift us out of our narrow vision to see the bigger picture You want us to see. Amen.

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"But He said to them “I have food to eat that you know nothing about” … “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.”"
John 4:32 & 34, NIV


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Today's Writer

Sally Whitfield Sally became part of the Ellel Scotland team in 2013, working in the office and as an Associate Ministry team member. She has since retired, but remains keenly interested in all aspects of the healing ministry of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

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