John 4:31

In the meanwhile his disciples besought him, saying, Teacher, eat.
Read Chapter 4

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
His disciples had gone to buy food, and had returned. They offered Christ some: In the mean while His disciples prayed Him, saying, Master, eat. What wonder that the woman did not understand about the water? Lo, the disciples do not understand about the meat. Our Lord heard His doubting disciples, and answered them as disciples, i.e. plainly and expressly, not circuitously, as He answered the women; Jesus said to them, My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me.

Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
In the meanwhile, &c. "This," says S. Chrysostom, "they did out of love and zeal for their Master, seeing Him wearied with the heat and the journey." At the same time they were thinking about themselves. Hungry and tired as they were, they wished to eat, but did not venture to do so until Christ should commence, and bless the meal, as was His wont. "Jesus was accustomed," says Theophylact, "to accept the gift of food when offered, though He giveth food to all flesh. This He did, that they who presented it might gain merit, and that no one might be ashamed to be poor, nor think it hard to be fed by others." For it is fitting that Teachers should have other persons to provide food for them, that they themselves having no other cares may be careful only about the ministry of the word.

Cyril of Alexandria

AD 444
Most excellently doth the Divine Evangelist manage the compilation of this book, and omits nothing which he believes will at all be of use to the readers. Hear therefore how he introduces Jesus again as the Ensample of a most note-worthy act. For I do not think that any thing has been put in vain in the writings of the saints, but what any man deems small, he sometimes finds pregnant with no contemptible profit. The conversion of the Samaritans being then begun, and they on the point of looking for Him (for He knew as God that they would come): wholly and entirely is He intent upon the salvation of them which are called, and makes no account of bodily food, although wearied with His journey, as it is written: that hereby again He might profit the teachers in the Churches, and persuade them to disregard all fatigue, and use more diligent zeal for those who are being saved, than for the care of their bodies. For Cursed, saith the Prophet, be he that doeth the work of the Lord negligently...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Asked, here is besought, in their native language; for seeing Him wearied with the journey, and the oppressive heat, they entreated Him; for their request concerning food proceeded not from hastiness, but from loving affection for their Teacher? What then says Christ?

John Chrysostom

AD 407
They all ask Him at once, Him so fatigued with the journey and heat. This is not impatience in them, but simply love, and tenderness to their Master. The salvation of men He calls His food, showing His great desire that we should be saved. As food is an object of desire to us, so wasthe salvation of men to Him. Observe, He does not express Himself directly, but figuratively; which makes some trouble necessary for His hearers, in order to comprehend His meaning, and thus gives a greater importance to that meaning when it is understood. They show, as usual, the honor and reverence in which they hold their Master, by talking among themselves, and not presuming to question Him.

Tertullian of Carthage

AD 220
(He) who was wont to profess "food "to be, not that which His disciples had supposed, but "the thorough doing of the Father's work; "

Theophilus of Antioch

AD 184
Our Lord, knowing that the woman of Samaria was bringing the whole town out to Him, tells His disciples, I have meat that you know not of:. That you know not of; i.e. know not that I call the salvation of men food; or, know not that the Samaritans are about to believe and be saved. The disciples however were in perplexity: Therefore said the disciples one to another, Has any man brought Him ought to eat? . From the question of the disciples, Has any man brought Him ought to eat, we may infer that our Lord was accustomed to receive food from others, when it was offered Him: not that He who gives food to all flesh, needed any assistance; but He received it, that they who gave it might obtain their reward, and that poverty thenceforth might not blush, northe support of others be esteemed a disgrace. It is proper and necessary that teachers should depend on others to provide them with food, in order that, being free from all other cares, they may attend the more to the ministry of the word...

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
The disciples asked the Lord to eat, meaning, they begged Him, not in a presumptuous manner, but out of love for their Master, for they saw that He was weary from the journey and the oppressive heat. But knowing that the Samaritan woman was about to bring to Him nearly all the inhabitants of the city, and that the Samaritans would believe in Him, the Lord replies, "I have food to eat, which is, the salvation of men. And I have a greater desire for this food than any one of you has for material food. But you, My disciples, do not know this food which I have to eat. Because you are still dull in understanding and unable to fathom my enigmatic words, you do not know that I call the salvation of men my food." In another sense, "You do not know this food," means, "You do not know that the Samaritans will believe and will be saved." What do the disciples do? They are still bewildered and ask among themselves, Hath any man brought Him aught to eat? Being as always in awe of Him, they do not d...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

App Store LogoPlay Store Logo