She was walking down the grocery story aisle talking to no one in particular. “I just hate spending my hard-earned money on food,” she muttered. Now what do you suppose she wanted to spend her hard-earned money on? Eating is rather important. However, it is disconcerting to open the refrigerator door only to find the vegetables looking like hairy alien life forms about to attack if one opens the crisper drawer. That once magnificent head of lettuce you spent your hard-earned money on now looks like something from a horror movie.

Jesus once said, “Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.” John 6:27.

While Jesus did not have a refrigerator in which to keep vegetables, He was most likely familiar with much of our fare. The coastline along eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea is credited with a large number of vegetables now grown in America—vegetables like asparagus, beets, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, kale, lettuce, parsley, and rhubarb.

When Jesus tells us to seek food that does not spoil He could easily have had some of these veggies in mind. But Jesus really wanted to emphasize the great importance of feeding our souls with nourishing invigorating food that stimulates intellectual and moral development. These things never spoil. We can lose our house, our car, or our bank accounts, but no one can ever take from us our education. Jesus told us He came to give us an abundant life and the abundant life begins in one’s personhood.

Written February 14, 2003