Caleb Duncan Guest Columnist


Caleb Duncan

I have a confession to make. I love some of the worst foods you can eat for your body. That’s right. 

Fried foods are my favorite. I have a few Little Debbies that hook me in, too. Oatmeal cream pies and Swiss rolls are so good. We keep them out of our house but when I visit my family, there are always some snacks and junk foods in the pantry. 

There are many diets that try to curb appetite and provide healthy options for foods. You could go Vegan, or Keto, or Paleo, or a vast array of others…but I want to recommend a different diet. 

This diet is a bit different from the ones I mentioned. This is a diet that Jesus had. Here’s the kicker: it’s not a physical diet. It’s a spiritual one. 

There is one time in the Bible where Jesus talked about ‘His food.’ In John 4:34, Jesus had just finished speaking with the Samaritan woman at the well. 

This was a powerful moment, because Jesus had revealed himself as the Messiah to this woman, who was an outcast to society. She ran into the city to declare that Jesus was the living water that she’s been searching for. And at that moment, the disciples walk back up to Jesus. 

They urge him to eat, because they know he must be hungry. Jesus said, ‘ I have food to eat that you know not of.’ This confused the disciples. They look around at one another and say, ‘Did someone give him something to eat?’ (John 4:33). 

And Jesus responds in a profound way to the disciples. He says, ‘My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to finish his work.’ My food? Yes, he says, ‘My food.’ 

Jesus’ food was to obey the will of his father. This sounds strange. Why would Jesus use the illustration of food to show this? 

What Jesus was communicating to his disciples was that it was his greatest desire to obey the father, even more than food. Jesus was teaching them about spiritual nourishment. For physical nourishment, our bodies need physical food but for spiritual nourishment, we need to obey God and walk according to his word. 

We need to be spiritually nourished. In the previous verses, he just finished telling the woman at the well about the fountain of living water that springs up like a well within her. 

This was not physical water. It was a symbol Jesus used to show that he gives the gift of eternal life. In another place, Jesus tells us that he is the bread of life. 

The point is, that Jesus is our all-satisfying Savior, and when we are walking with him, we are spiritually nourished. When we have Jesus, we have everything we need to be filled. In John 4:34, we learned that Jesus was hungry to obey the father. 

Did you know that Jesus invites us to hunger with him? He says in Matthew 5, ‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, and they shall be filled.’

I’ll never understand eating at a fancy restaurant and getting served a plate of something extremely small and it costing so much. 

If I want to spend my money on food, I want a good helping of food. Even  with plenty of food, I still go hungry again. Jesus here is offering us a type of food that will fill us always. This filling food is to obey God with our lives. 

If you are not feeling satisfied and hungry for the things of this world, I’ll have to ask the question: what does your diet consist of? 

Too many things of this world will ruin your appetite and leave you feeling empty but a balanced, spiritual diet consists of living water, bread of life, and fruit from the Spirit’s fine. 

Caleb Duncan is the Director for the West Florida Baptist Association in Chipley and holds an M.A. in Ethics, Theology, and Culture from Southeastern Seminary. Email him at or follow his Twitter @calebtduncan.

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