John 4:31 Commentary - Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New TestamentObserve here, The fit and seasonable motion which our Saviour's disciples make to him; Master, eat.
Learn from thence, That though a person's chief care should be for his own soul, and for improving all opportunities for doing good to the souls of others; yet the bodies of men must not be neglected, but supported by meat and drink; especially theirs, whose health and strength may be of greater use and service to God and his church. The body is the servant of the soul, the instrument whereby it worketh: and therefore to neglect the body is to disable and unfit the soul for service, to hinder the functions and operations of it. The sixth commandment, which forbids us to kill, requires us to use all means for the preservation of life, both in ourselves and others.
Observe next, Our Saviour's answer to the disciples motion; Master, eat, say they. I have meat to eat that ye know not of, says he; for my meat is to do the will of him that sent me. Not that our Saviour did not want meat at this time, for he was both hungry and thirsty, as appears by his asking water of the woman to drink, and by his sending his disciples into the city to buy meat; but our Lord was more intent upon doing his Father's work, than upon satisfying his own hunger. Christ hungered more after an opportunity of doing good to the souls of men, than he did after meat and drink to satisfy his hunger.
Lord! let us, thy ministers, learn of thee to prefer the spiritual welfare of our people, before any temporal advantages whatsoever.
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Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament
William Burkitt (1650 - 1703) was a Church of England clergyman, bible expositor, and devotional writer.
Volume 1: Matthew - John, was published in 1700.
Volume 2: Acts - Revelation was published 1703.