John 6 v 47 - 59

From the last verse in this passage we can recognise that what Jesus says here is part of a sermon He gave in a synagogue: imagine your preacher standing up and asserting: ''Eat me!''. The Jewish listeners will have been equally scandalised and Jesus clearly recognised that they would and as a consequence many would turn away from Him (verse 66, later in this chapter).  Understanding that Jesus didn't just say these words to cause uproar, what did He mean? It may be simple to accept that His words were related to Communion, especially if you accept transubstantiation. At the Last Supper, Jesus declared that the bread and wine were His body and blood, not just that they represented or symbolized them (Matthew 26 v 26-28). It is true that Jesus wants us to become one with Him, not just accepting Christianity as a good, ethical and moral way to live, but inviting Him into our hearts. We are carried through death because we are united body, mind and soul with the risen Lord Jesus. Also, it is important to recall what John set out in his first chapter: that the Word became flesh and blood. Not God dressed up as a man, Jesus became fully human in every way and if we are to become His children the clarion call is for us to accept Him as such. Time and time again, ending in his last chapter where we have the picture of the risen Jesus providing breakfast and eating with His disciples, John is intent on emphasising the humanity of Jesus. In his first letter, John  wrote: ''If a person claiming to be a prophet acknowledges that Jesus Christ came in a real body, that person has the Spirit of God.'' Please understand that what you believe affects how you live. Thinking that Jesus was some kind of ghost takes away the sheer raw bloodiness of His life and death. This is what Jesus is declaring about Himself and as we feed on the bread of life we receive nourishment which the unbelieving world cannot ever know! 


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