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The Ninety-Third (Food)

How was your week? Have you been tired lately? I know I have. I've tried to go to bed a little earlier to catch up on sleep, but apparently I've been in more sleep debt than I thought! I hope to refill my sleep bank this weekend.

This week we're going to talk about food, but maybe not in the way you might expect. Last week we touched on the miracle of Jesus feeding the multitude, so let's start there. If you're reading the KJV, you might miss the reference. It's just before Jesus has the people sit in the grass. The disciples told Jesus to send them away so they can buy themselves food (Matthew 14:15).

The Greek word used is broma, which simply means food. The KJV translates this as "victuals" in this instance, however every other occurrence is translated to meat, or meats. To me, this is a little confusing because the Greek word doesn't mean specifically meat, or vegetables, or fruit.

This isn't the only Greek word translated to food, though. If we skip back to a reference to John the baptizer, we see the word used for his food of locusts is trophe (Matthew 3:4). Another definition Strong's gives for this is nourishment. We can also find a version of this, diatrophe, that occurs in only one verse of the New Testament. The adding of dia gives the meaning of thorough nourishment, or ample food (1 Timothy 6:8).

Broma, also has another version, brosis, which means eating, or that which is eaten. Interestingly, if you take a look in Matthew 6, you'll find an English word you might not expect that was translated from this Greek word. We saw this in our look into treasures. It's where Jesus talks about storing treasures in heaven. When Jesus talked about moths and rust destroying treasures on earth, the word rust was translated from brosis (Matthew 6:19-20). Pretty big assumption there, King James. In fact, these two verses are the only ones where this is translated to rust. It gets even weirder in NIV where it leaps to the word vermin.

But why all this talk about food? Other than a focus on our raging inflation and how eggs, for example, have doubled in price over just a few months, why take the time to look at references to the word food in scripture? Well, there is an interesting reference Jesus makes to food that we really need to take to heart.

Jesus and the disciples were on their way to Galilee when they passed through Samaria. Specifically, they stopped in a city called Sychar, and Jesus stopped to rest at Jacob's well (John 4:5-6). And let me just take a short side road here and point out that it specifically said that Jesus was weary from His journey.

I don't know if you've watched the series The Chosen, but there was an episode about the sermon on the mount where they portray Jesus as practicing, or trying to work out what He was going to say. This particular episode stirred up a lot of controversy because viewers did not like the suggestion that Jesus had to practice anything. Perhaps they saw this as trying to say Jesus was fallible, rather than the perfect Son of God.

However, what would they say to this particular verse? Jesus getting weary from a journey? Is that really our Savior? Our perfect Son of God? Yes! Jesus became flesh, the same flesh as us, and dwelt among us (John 1:14). Just like our flesh, His became tired from walking. He also had a mind, just like ours. Could it be then, that just like us He worked things out on how to say things? I believe that's definitely plausible.

The reason for that side road is because just like we can't put Yehovah in a box and say He can't, or won't, do certain things, we can't say Jesus didn't, or did, do certain things. Unless, of course, it specifically says it in scripture. Before we get all up in arms over who Jesus is to someone else, we need to remember that not only is everyone at different places in their journey with Him, based on their experiences He is different to them as well.

Of course, He is Savior to all of us, but to some He's a healer, to some a deliverer from demons, to some a provider, etc. Just like we are not to judge others on what they eat or what holy days they keep (Colossians 2:16, Romans 14:13), don't judge on who Jesus is to someone else. By the way, I learned something interesting today about God's commandments to judges. (sorry, a side road to a side road here!)

Besides saying they are not to take bribes, according to KJV He told them they were not to show partiality. However, when you look at the Hebrew, the word used there actually mean they are not to recognize faces! That made me think. Can you imagine a justice system where judges or juries literally don't see faces? I think that would be a much needed modification to our current justice system, but that's just me (Deuteronomy 16:19).

All right, back to the main road! Jesus was at the well and revealed Himself as the Messiah to the Samarian woman at the well. The disciples came and told Him to eat, but He said He had food they didn't even know about. Of course, the disciples asked each other if someone had brought Him food, so Jesus explained (John 4:31-33).

Jesus' food was the will of God. To finish His work. Of course, Jesus was talking about His death and resurrection. Finishing the establishment of the new covenant. But then He went on to talk about the disciples reaping what they didn't sow and entering into other's labors (John 4:34-38).

In this explanation, Jesus makes a reference to the saying that one sows and another reaps. I find a reference to Micah 6:15 in one of my bibles, which I find interesting. This is a message to Israel about punishment for their acts. It tells them they will sow but not reap. I believe Jesus had a two-fold reference here. I think Jesus was referencing the fact that the prophets sowed the seeds of prophetic word about Jesus, and the disciples were reaping the saving of individuals based on those words and Jesus' upcoming sacrifice. I think He was also referencing the fact that Jesus came out of Israel, but those remaining would reject Him and not reap the fruit of eternal life.

For us though, we need to also look at the will of God as our food, our nourishment. He desires that all are saved and know the truth (1 Timothy 2:3-4). So share the gospel, share the truth, with everyone you can. Reap what others have sown and let it be your nourishment!

I hope you have a wonderful week! Shabbat shalom and God bless you!

-Rob and Sara Gene

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