Today I would like to talk about one particular verse from today’s Gospel reading but first I strongly suggest you go to you Bible and read the Bread of Life discourse where we find this particular verse.
Go ahead and read carefully the Gospel of John, Chapter 6, verses 22 through 58. About this section about being the Bread of Life and that we must eat this bread and drink this blood to have eternal life.
- The first thing to notice is “what else could Jesus have said to make it any more plain?” Six times He tells them that they must eat His flesh and drink His blood. 6 times!
- Second, He doesn’t correct those that leave Him for misunderstanding Him since they thought He spoke literally while He supposedly spoke only symbolically. My question is: why didn’t He say so before they left Him?
- Thirdly, the apostle John recounts Jesus using two different words when speaking of ‘eating’ His flesh. In the beginning of His discourse He uses the word “PHAGO” which is defined as ‘eat’ and which can sometimes be taken symbolically. But when the Jews have difficulty accepting Jesus’ second attempt at clarifying His teaching Jesus switches to the word “TROGO” in verse 54 when speaking of ‘eating’ His flesh, a word which is NEVER used symbolically in Scripture and means to ‘munch, gnaw or crunch’ His Flesh making it extremely clear that Jesus was speaking literally.And so Jesus let the Jews leave because they understood Him correctly, they just couldn’t accept this ‘hard teaching.’
And so Jesus let the Jews leave because they understood Him correctly, they just couldn’t accept this ‘hard teaching.’
And my favorite verse of the whole ‘Bread of Life’ discourse is verse 51.
Verse 51 of John 6 says this: “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, for the life of the world.”
Jesus is the living bread. We are to eat this bread. This bread that He gives for us to eat is the flesh that He will give for the life of the world. If the bread is symbolically His flesh then the flesh that He gives for the life of the world must be symbolic as well. That’s how Jesus describes it. Was the flesh on the cross symbolic? Or real? The flesh that we are to eat, is it symbolic or real? If the flesh on the cross is real then the bread that we are to eat is that same flesh. This verse makes it impossible to accept a symbolic reckoning of the flesh we are to eat and the blood we are to drink.