"My food is to do the will of Him who sent me ..." (John 4:34)

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

Who is the 'Him' Jesus is referring to?

Jesus is undoubtedly referring to the Supreme Being here. This is who Jesus loves, and this is who Jesus is  serving.

This statement clearly identifies that Jesus is living for God. He is acting on behalf of God. He wants to please God.

Curiously, the sectarian translators and institutions that published the NIV and most of the other versions do not capitalize the words "Him" and "His" in this statement (the capitals were added in the NIV translated verse above). Why not?

We find this issue throughout the New Testament, as translators have repeatedly missed capitalizing references to God in Jesus' teachings.

This is because these translators - like the Pharisees Jesus was speaking to - know nothing about - what Jesus is referring to here.

Why is this the 'food' they 'know nothing about'?

Before Jesus says this he said:
"I have food to eat that you know nothing about." (John 4:32)
Now that we know what he was describing, we can correlate that Jesus is saying they do not know about this "food" because they weren't interested in doing the will of the Supreme Being.

This key statement by Jesus defines his central mission and his prime directive. It also clearly defines who Jesus is, spoken by Jesus himself.

With this statement, Jesus clearly defines himself as God's servant and representative. "My food is to do the will of Him who sent me" means that Jesus identified himself as God's servant and God's messenger.

The Pharisees and the priests of the institutional temple system of Jesus' time knew "nothing about" this because they were more interested in their own self interests. They were interested in their positions within the temple system. They were interested in being honored and respected by parishoners.

Why is this considered 'food' by Jesus?

If someone does someone else's will, then they are subjugating their will to that other person's will. Why would doing God's will be like food to Jesus?

The primary purpose of food is to provide the body with its basic nutritional needs. In order to keep the body going, we must have food.

The spirit-person does not need this sort of physical food because the composition of the spirit-person is spiritual. 

But the spirit-person needs another form of food for sustenance. This is the food of love.  

Each of us needs love. Because we are each a spirit-person, we need love. This is why we chase love throughout our lives. We want others to love us. And we want to give love to others. This is why families are so important to so most of us. Because families are a source of the exchange of love.

Jesus is speaking of the exchange of a higher form of love: Spiritual love. He is speaking of exchanging love with God. This is spiritual food.

That's what doing God's will is. It is an act of love. It is an exchange of love.

This is why Jesus compared doing God's will to his food. Because he becomes fulfilled by exchanging love with God.

This was Jesus' primary objectvie: To please God, whom he loved.

The concept of pleasing God bothers many of us. Why? Because we don't want to please someone else. We don't want to do someone else's will. We want to be the king of our lives. We want to do what we want. We want to please ourselves.

This also goes for those who use Jesus to get what we want. To pray to Jesus to get wealthy or to help our football team win is not tasting the spiritual food that Jesus is speaking of.

Was Jesus God's servant?

This is essentially what Jesus is admitting to here. To do someone else's will means to serve them. Jesus saw himself as God's servant.

He is teaching by example to be God's servant. Furthermore, Jesus is teaching that God sent him. This makes Jesus God's messenger and representative.

If someone says that someone has sent them, then they are representing the person who sent them. They become the sender's messenger. This means that Jesus is God's representative and messenger.

The fact that Jesus is mentioning food also means that Jesus is thriving from His service to God. This is his pleasure. This is what Jesus enjoys. Jesus is not focused on his own pleasure. He wants to please the Supreme Being. Jesus confirmed this simply in another statement:
"... for I seek not to please myself but Him who sent me." (John 5:30)
This is not such a foreign notion to most of us. Most of us have experienced at some point "falling in love" with another person. While "falling in love" is but a tiny glimpse of love for God, from it we find that there is a kind of pleasure in loving and caring for someone else besides myself. Why?

Are we meant to serve God?

By nature, we are all lovers and caregivers. We are by nature not masters. We are caregivers. We were created by the Supreme Being to love and serve Him, and love and serve each other.

But because the Supreme Being wants an exchange of true love, he also gave us the freedom to love Him or not. Without the freedom not to love God, how could we truly love Him?

This is the reason we are here in this temporary physical world: We are the ones that chose not to love Him. We are the ones that rejected our loving relationship with the Supreme Being. And because we wanted to be independent of Him - He kindly gave us a dimension where we could pretend He doesn't exist. A place where we could focus on ourselves and pretend to the bosses and masters, even though we aren't.

One might compare this to parents who give a child their own room so the child could get away from the parents sometimes. The child can close the door and play alone without the parents. But this doesn't mean the child is independent of the parents. It also doesn't mean that the child is now the boss of the house. It just means the parents gave the child the freedom to exercise some independence.

Doesn't this mean that Jesus is not God?

If someone does someone else's will, there are obviously two individuals involved, each with their own will. One who does another's will is subjecting themselves to the other out of choice. In this case, out of love.

The interpretation that Jesus is God was born from those organizations that sought to gain authority by virtue of exclusivity. This is a product of politics, not service to God.

To claim that the loving servant of God is God is to forget God. This is offensive to both Jesus and God. This is why Jesus said:
“Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21)