Summary: “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me.” Jesus shows His disciples that finding the lost sheep is spiritual food and that there’s food everywhere!
The woman has just left her waterpot to go tell the men of her city about the Messiah. She’ll be back, but in the meantime Jesus has a conversation with His disciples:
In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. 32But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of.
“Meat” is the thing that satisfies. He was hungry, so they went and got Him something. But when they returned He was no longer hungry; this is why they asked:
33Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat?
They haven’t yet learned to look past the earthly things.
34Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me,
Jesus defines “meat” to answer their question. First, it is in doing the will of God.
and to finish his work.
What is the Father’s work?
For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 39And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day (Jn. 6:38-39).
God had given some to the Son, and now the Son is here to finish the work of redeeming them.
God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ (I Thess. 5:9).
This is why Christ “must” go through Samaria; He had an appointment!
So, therefore, the main point is that the “meat” of the servant and the thing which sustains him is to do the thing he’s sent to do. This brings us to the next part:
35Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.
Look around: there’s “food” everywhere! Don’t forget that they’re in Samaria and the Jews have no dealings with them. But Christ has dealings with them and so do His servants. He came to save “whosoever.”
36And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal:
This is what it means “I have meat.”
that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. 37And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. 38I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours.
Note that this is past tense: “I sent.” The disciples have already had a little taste of this “meat” before:
These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: 6But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. 8Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. 9Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, 10Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat. 11And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence. 12And when ye come into an house, salute it. 13And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet (Mt. 10:5-14).