This truth becomes an experience when we believe it.
Then it becomes easier to allow Jesus to “offer up” our sufferings to God the Father to make ourselves and others holy. This is the purpose of our life."
Anonymous said: 1/2 Did you actually read John 6: 30-66? "I am the bread which came down from heaven" "I am the bread of life" "I AM the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh" "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you."
*Cough* Not the anon, but it is very reasonable to assume that it is a metaphor; Jesus used them all the time. Except if you take a closer look at this particular passage it makes no sense for Jesus to be using metaphor in this particular instance. :)
I’m still not convinced but thank you for being somewhat more gracious and a great deal less patronising than the anon. Hey you know I could be wrong, you could be wrong, the way I see it it’s all one church and while these discussions are good to have I don’t think there’s any need for them to cause so much division as they have, and often do :)
Amen! Thanks for reading. :)
Pardon my jumping in, but this is one of my absolute favorite passages to talk about, and since tomorrow is Maundy Thursday—the day we celebrate the institution of the Eucharist and the priesthood (they are intimately bound together)—it seems fitting to elaborate…
The interesting thing is it’s only misleading in English (and then only if the reader doesn’t take the whole passage together—which it is admittedly hard to do, the way the modern Bible is divided up and since so many of us come to the text with preconceived notions.)
In the Greek, Jesus doesn’t just say ”Eat my flesh”; each time the Jews object when he says that, he strengthens his language, using verbs like “gnaw” and “chew” instead of just “eat”—he emphasized the physicality of the language.
But the best part is that there was a metaphorical idiom in the language of the day centered around “eat my flesh”—and it meant to defame the person, to speak badly of them. If Christ had been using the phrase metaphorically in the way commonly understood by the public at the time, he would have been saying, “Only if you blaspheme me can you have life in you.” Which really doesn’t make sense.
If Christ meant it as a metaphor, why didn’t he explain himself? When his disciples and the crowds said, “How can he give us flesh to eat?” and “This is a hard saying; who can accept it?” and left, thinking he was a lunatic, why let himself remain misunderstood about something so important? If he meant it metaphorically, why didn’t he even let the Twelve in on it? Instead he just asked them if they were going to leave, too.
Many Protestants say, “But what about verse 63? “It is the Spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are the Spirit and the life.” But this is part of Jesus’ whole confirmation of what he has just said: he asks the apostles if they, too, will abandon him because he taught that this very flesh and blood are the key to eternal life. He says, if you can’t accept this, how can you accept any other miraculous thing? (v. 62). “These words,” i.e. everything I have just been telling you, are the truth, they are life. We’re not talking about base cannibalism (“the flesh is of no avail”), we’re talking about me, about the power of God. And Peter confirms that they do believe: “And we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” (v. 69).
If the Eucharist is just a symbol, then St. Paul must have been over the top in his 1st epistle to the Corinthians (11:27-30): “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.”
Moreover, the Church Fathers—the earliest Christian leaders after the Apostles—unanimously proclaim that the Eucharist is the true body and blood of Jesus Christ:
Yes I did read it. Jesus also said ‘I am the true vine’ I don’t think He was literally saying yes look at me I’m a plant, do you?
Ignatius of Antioch, who had been a disciple of the apostle John and who wrote a letter to the Smyrnaeans about A.D. 110, said, referring to “those who hold heterodox opinions,” that “they abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, flesh which suffered for our sins and which the Father, in his goodness, raised up again” (6:2, 7:1).
Forty years later, Justin Martyr, wrote, “Not as common bread or common drink do we receive these; but since Jesus Christ our Savior was made incarnate by the word of God and had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so too, as we have been taught, the food which has been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by him, and by the change of which our blood and flesh is nourished, … is both the flesh and the blood of that incarnated Jesus” (First Apology 66:1–20).
Origen, in a homily written about A.D. 244, attested to belief in the Real Presence. “I wish to admonish you with examples from your religion. You are accustomed to take part in the divine mysteries, so you know how, when you have received the Body of the Lord, you reverently exercise every care lest a particle of it fall and lest anything of the consecrated gift perish. You account yourselves guilty, and rightly do you so believe, if any of it be lost through negligence” (Homilies on Exodus 13:3).
Cyril of Jerusalem, in a catechetical lecture presented in the mid-300s, said, “Do not, therefore, regard the bread and wine as simply that, for they are, according to the Master’s declaration, the body and blood of Christ. Even though the senses suggest to you the other, let faith make you firm. Do not judge in this matter by taste, but be fully assured by faith, not doubting that you have been deemed worthy
of the body and blood of Christ” (Catechetical Discourses: Mystagogic 4:22:9).
In a fifth-century homily, Theodore of Mopsuestia seemed to be speaking to today’s Evangelicals and Fundamentalists: “When [Christ] gave the bread he did not say, ‘This is the symbol of my body,’ but, ‘This is my body.’ In the same way, when he gave the cup of his blood he did not say, ‘This is the symbol of my blood,’ but, ‘This is my blood,’ for he wanted us to look upon the [Eucharistic elements], after their reception of grace and the coming of the Holy Spirit, not according to their nature, but to receive them as they are, the body and blood of our Lord” (Catechetical Homilies 5:1).
Moreover, the whole event where Christ proclaimed that he is the Eucharist, the living bread of life, follows closely on the heels of the feeding of the five thousand, where Christ miraculously multiplied the loaves to feed the crowds. The very next thing that happens is he tells the crowds when they ask “what must we do, to be doing the works of God?” that “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” (6:29) So the crowds ask, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see, and believe you?” And Christ’s response is that he is the living bread of heaven, and that to have eternal life is to eat His flesh and drink His blood.
John is a completely amazing Gospel, thoughtfully and intricately told to show the luminous beauty of Christian truth, of the person of Christ, and this sequence of teachings is at the heart of it.