The disciples are concerned about the physical welfare of Jesus, but He explains that He is nourished by doing God’s work here on earth. He uses the idea of food to segue into planting and harvesting. But again, He is not talking about natural or physical food. He is using the sowing and reaping in the natural to demonstrate how God wants us to do His work here on earth. Studies have shown that it takes an average of as many as 14 times of hearing the Gospel for a person to accept Jesus as their Savior. So, as we go, we plant seeds into individuals and others reap the harvest. It is a joyful moment when we get to harvest where others have come before us and planted the seeds. We must be faithful in doing God’s work even though we may not see the result of the seeds we plant. We can be encouraged by what Jesus said here and what we find in Isaiah:
6 If you explain these things to the brothers and sisters, Timothy, you will be a worthy servant of Christ Jesus, one who is nourished by the message of faith and the good teaching you have followed. 7 Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly. 8 “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” 9 This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it. 10 This is why we work hard and continue to struggle, for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers.—1 Timothy 4:6-10 (NLT)
Paul had been mentoring Timothy when they spent time together, he continues to mentor him through his letters to him. Paul wanted Timothy and us to understand the importance of passing on those things that we have been taught. As we read and meditate, God’s Spirit opens up the Scriptures to us. As we mature, we should pass on this knowledge and wisdom to those that are younger in the faith. Jesus told us to make disciples, That means to teach them more than just salvation, we should encourage them to lead a holy life. That is the example Paul is setting for us. We should always pass this information on with love. We should never waste our time or anyone’s time in arguing about useless (in the eternal sense) things. We should teach them that the most important things here on earth are the things that will stand the test of fire and be stored up in heaven. Our focus should be set on Jesus and the plan that He has for each of our lives. Then, at the appearance of Jesus in all His glory,, our hope will be turned into reality and we shall spend an eternity with Him!!
Colossians 2: 16-19 (NLT) 16 So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths. 17 For these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come. And Christ himself is that reality. 18 Don’t let anyone condemn you by insisting on pious self-denial or the worship of angels, saying they have had visions about these things. Their sinful minds have made them proud, 19 and they are not connected to Christ, the head of the body. For he holds the whole body together with its joints and ligaments, and it grows as God nourishes it.
Condemnation comes from satan and weighs us down with guilt for things that we have done in the past or things that we are doing now. If satan can keep you feeling guilty, he has defeated you because you will not be able to do good works when you are weighed down with guilt. Remember that there is no condemnation for those of us who are in Christ Jesus. Condemnation is different from conviction. God’s Holy Spirit will bring conviction upon us but it will lead us to repentance. Once we have repented, our relationship with Jesus is restored and we can again be effective working for Christ. Man should not add any requirements for salvation to what God has already laid out in His Word. No matter what anyone tells you, we cannot live good enough to earn salvation or bad enough to lose our salvation. Our salvation depends on Jesus and His shed blood. God tells us in Romans that nothing, absolutely nothing, can separate us from Him and His love. Why? Because it is a gift from God and gifts cannot be bought or earned.
All the rules and precepts are shadows of what is coming. It is our responsibility to use discernment and cross check what people say with the Holy Scriptures. If the two do not agree, then we must always go with the Word. Just as our physical bodies are controlled by our brains (head) and nourished by the blood flowing through it , so is the Spiritual body controlled by the head, who is Christ Jesus. The whole body is held together by the power of His Word and is nourished by His Spirit flowing through us.