My Food Is To Finish His Work
As the disciples returned from purchasing food in the city, they were amazed that Jesus was talking to a Samaritan woman. When they offered Him food, Jesus turned it down and they thought someone else had given Him something to eat. In His response, John 4:34 says: “Jesus said to them, My food is to do the will of Him who sent me, and to finish His work.” Jesus was saying that doing the will of His Father was what gave Him sustenance, that which gave Him life. Yet, He also stated that He came to finish the work of the One that had sent Him. The One that sent Him was God the Father, the creator of all things. Gen 2:1-2 says: “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.” (Emphasis added) If God had ended His work as Genesis states, then what work of God is Jesus referring to that He was sent to finish? Also, how does that apply to us today?
Gen. 1:27-28 gives us an insight into these questions. It says: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” God created man in His own image and blessed him. Then He gave man a charge to be fruitful, to multiply, and to replenish the earth, subdue it and have dominion over everything on the earth. This was the charge that God gave to Adam. He was given the ability, the responsibility, and the authority, to finish, or complete, the work that God had started. God created everything, then told Adam to care for it and cause it to become abundant throughout His creation. Adam was to finish the creating process by reproducing everything, expanding the garden, and caring for that which God had created. He was to have dominion over it all, which indicates there were things he was to exercise authority over.
However, Adam failed to take dominion when he didn’t keep the serpent out of the garden. After recognizing the character of each animal, including the serpent, and naming them appropriately, he allowed the forked tongue of the serpent to deceive Eve and he joined in the sin with her. In this way he abdicated his authority to the Devil and his ability to care for creation changed. First Timothy 2:14 teaches us that Adam was not deceived. He knew what God had said and he knew the nature of the serpent. Yet, Adam gave up his authority and ability to fulfill his responsibility and to finish what God had started. He did not heed the instructions of the Lord and therefore did not finish the work that God had given him. Jesus came to purchase this back for us and to show us how to live in such a way that we can fulfill the charge of God to Adam and ultimately to all mankind.
In John 4:35, Jesus continued His remarks about fulfilling the work of the One that sent Him by saying: “Do you not say, there are still four months and then comes the harvest? Behold I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest.” To look up is to look for true vision of and from God. We need true vision of God to understand what God is doing so we can finish the work He started. We need true vision from God to understand what portion of that work He wants us to fulfill (see verse 38). In Matthew 28:18-20 Jesus stated that He had all power in heaven and earth and was sending His disciples (us) to the nations to teach them to observe the things He had commanded. To do this we must have that vision of and from God.
Jesus said He came to finish the work God started. What was that work? To release others into the work of the Father and to bring in a harvest - to reproduce, etc. what God originally created. God told Adam to be fruitful, multiply, replenish the earth, subdue it, and have dominion over it. Simply stated, the plants and animals would all reproduce on their own there in the garden. However, Adam wasn’t to simply stay in the garden and tend it alone. He had been given authority over all that God had created and therefore was to take what he had and reproduce it in other places. By replanting the various plants in other areas and thereby expanding the garden, the animals would have naturally reproduced and expanded their domain as well. Adam didn’t accomplish any of these things in the natural. Nor did he multiply the spiritual aspect of his life. He was to replenish the earth with the same life of authority and character that he had received. Adam didn’t subdue the earth in the natural or take spiritual dominion. So how does this apply to us and does it simply mean that we are to only be caretakers of the earth or is there some deeper meaning to all this?
We must take care of the earth in the natural, but there is a much greater depth of understanding that we must acknowledge. Jesus said He was with us and was sending us to the nations. For too long we have stayed in our spiritual realm (our garden) and have not reproduced what God has created within us. Jesus told the disciples and therefore us, to go and teach all nations to observe the things He commanded. To do that we must understand what He is expecting of us, which implies we must also understand what God meant when He told Adam to be fruitful, multiply, replenish the earth, subdue it, and have dominion over it. Those words still have great implications for us today.
GOD’S COMMAND TO ADAM
To be fruitful is to spread the Gospel of the Kingdom everywhere we go, reproducing Kingdom principles by way of the gifts and fruit of the Spirit. We must produce the fruit of the Spirit in our own lives and then bring others into the Kingdom of God through the salvation of souls. Being fruitful is allowing the Spirit of God to change us as we bring others into Christ.
To multiply is to take those who have been saved and make them disciples of Jesus Christ, not just converts. We should teach them how to live according to the principles of God and release them into the lifestyle of Jesus Christ.
To replenish the earth is to fill the earth with the glory of God as it was in the beginning. God said in the last days He would cover the earth with His glory as the waters cover the sea. We are a part of this as we move in the ministry that He has given us and even open up new areas of ministry. (Consider the parable of the talents.) We are not to replenish the earth with our ideas or traditions, but with the very glory of God. This means we must carry the glory of God ourselves before we can replenish the earth with it.
To subdue the earth is to subdue our carnal nature, the desires of the world that come our way and try to distract us from walking in the glory of the Lord and the principles of Christ. It is also bringing all things into submission unto Christ. Changing the way the world thinks and acts to reflect the mind of Christ.
To have dominion is having dominion over the devil, the world, and the tests and trials of life. Jesus had dominion when He was on the mount and throughout His life. Hebrews 5:8 says that Jesus learned obedience by the things He suffered. We are also to take dominion over every test and trial of life that comes our way and we do so as we learn obedience.
SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND
Mark 16:15-20 states: “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.” Mark records for us that Jesus is sending us to do the work of God with signs following.
But a question arises. After stating these things, Mark says that Jesus was received into heaven and is sitting at the right hand of God. Why is Jesus sitting on the right hand of God? Just as God finished His work and rested on the seventh day, so Jesus finished what he came to do and is now expecting us to fulfill all righteousness and finish what He started. Heb. 10:12-13 says: “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.” Jesus is not sitting in the sense of relaxing in an easy chair. He is sitting in authority, with expectation of our completing the work. He is expecting us to take dominion over creation, including the enemies of Christ. Whether those enemies are our own carnal nature or our spiritual enemies, the principalities and powers in heavenly places, we are to take dominion. We are to be in control just as Jesus was. He did not allow His human nature or the powers in the heavenly places to dictate His attitude or His actions. He allowed the Spirit of God to move within him, watching what the Father was doing and saying and moving accordingly. Psalms 110:1-3, says it this way: “The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.” The Lord is sitting at the right hand of the Father while all His enemies are becoming His footstool. That means all enemies are coming under the feet of Jesus.
First Corinthians 12:12-27 teaches us that we are the body of Christ and members in particular. The foot cannot say to the hand I have no need of you, etc. Hebrews 12:1-2 teaches us that those saints that have gone on before us are compassing us about. In other words, they are like spectators of a huge game being played, watching the participants interact in their specific roles and responsibilities. These saints are a part of the body of Christ, though they are no longer in contact with the earth realm. We are the ones in contact with the earth realm, just as our feet are in contact with the natural earth as we go about our daily responsibilities. We are then in this sense the feet of the body of Christ. In Paul’s analogy, the foot cannot say to the hand, I have no need of you. We cannot say we have no need of those who have gone on before us. They have blazed the trail so to speak and we are following that trail, but also blazing new trails in the earth as we follow the principles of Christ. We are to multiply, replenish, etc. the earth, and as we follow the principles of Christ and walk in the Spirit of God, we will accomplish these things. Isaiah 52:7 says: “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!”
ENEMIES UNDER OUR FEET
The Father is putting all enemies under our feet as we rise up in the authority of Christ to fulfill all that He originally declared to His creation. We have a choice in the matter. Will we rise up in Him and fulfill our individual and corporate destiny? Or will we sit back and allow the enemy to enter our garden and bring deception and failure in our individual as well as our corporate lives? The enemy is still trying to keep us from fulfilling all that God has destined for His people. He is still speaking lies that hinder the church from becoming what God intended.
It is a matter of what we consider to be more important. In the original scripture, Jesus said that doing the will of God was His food, the thing that gave Him life, His daily sustenance. Doing God’s will, obeying the Spirit of the Living God should be our food as well. It should be the thing that sustains us, gives us enjoyment, fulfills our dreams and strengthens us on a daily basis. As important as we may consider our natural food for each day, so we need to consider doing the will of God each day as being just as important, even more important. Job 23:12 put it this way: “Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.” (Emphasis added) How important do we consider the words of God, both what He has written and what He speaks today through the mouth of His servants or into our own hearts? It should be more important to us than our natural food. If His words are of more importance then we will rightly hear and discern the words of the Lord and obey whatever He says to us at any time that He speaks. We will overcome the enemy that rises up against us and put him under our feet, the feet of the body of Christ.
Jesus came to do the will of the Father and to finish His work. He has commissioned His disciples and therefore us, to: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Mat 28:19) We cannot teach the nations if we do not learn ourselves. We cannot make disciples of the nations if we are not truly a disciple ourselves. We cannot bring change into the hearts of others if we do not embrace change ourselves. But the promise of God is that as we go He will be with us. As we follow after Him, allowing Him to bring change into our lives and to use us to make a difference in the lives of those around us, we will change the world. He is only with us as we go in Him. In other words, it isn’t doing our own thing, but what He has created and commissioned us to be and to do. This is what finishes the work of God and enables us to present the kingdoms of the earth unto the Ancient of Days. (Daniel 7:13-14, 22, 27)