What did Jesus mean when he said “Eat My Flesh”

John_6I’ve posted on several blogs concerning Transubstantiation here and here.

Another question to ask is, what did the disciples of Jesus think Jesus said when he said “Eat My Flesh.”

John 6:

51 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, which I will give for the life of the world.
52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?
53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.
57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.
58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.
59 These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.
60 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?
61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?
62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?
63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.
65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.
66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.
67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?
68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.
70 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?
71 He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.
John 7:1 7 After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him.

Who are these disciples that left Jesus in John 6:66? They are the same disciples that were with him at the Wedding at Cana: John 2:11 This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him. What precedes the Bread of Life Discourse: The Multiplication of the Loaves, which is another prefigurement of the “Breaking of the Bread.” Nothing is by accident in Scripture.

Let’s not forget how repulsive it was for a Jew to eat the flesh of a human and drink his blood. It was a death sentence to do it. For any Jew, it was a hard saying. St. Paul had to overcome this teaching of the Apostles as well. I believe that when a Jewish family sat down for a meal, the patriarch of the family would bless the bread. We see Jesus doing the same thing on the Road to Emmaus. After he takes bread, blesses it, breaks it and gives it, the two disciples recognize him. They rush back to Jerusalem to tell all the disciples of how they recognized him in the “breaking of the bread.” Do you recognize Jesus Christ in the “breaking of the bread?”

Jesus, after telling his disciples about eating and drinking his flesh and blood, does not stop them from leaving by throwing up his hands and yelling in a loud voice “Come Back. I’m only talking about eating my flesh and drinking my blood symbolically.” He lets them go. Jesus asks the twelve, “Will you go also?” What is their response? Jesus doesn’t even tell the Apostles what He meant by this like He normally does when they don’t understand one of his teachings or parables. They accept it by faith.

Nobody is forced to believe that the Eucharist is the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ. You either recognize Jesus in this Eucharistic meal or you don’t. Will it affect your salvation? I don’t think so. Here is why:

When we pass out of our bodies (die), we, meaning those of us IN CHRIST JESUS, will hear our names called and we will turn around and be greeted by Jesus Christ himself. He will open up the scriptures to us and we will know them perfectly and see Him on every page. Then Jesus will sit down with us and He will take Bread, Bless it, Break it and Hand it to us to eat as the first course at the Wedding Feast of the Lamb.

So whether you are one who believes in Transubstantiation or one that believes it is symbolic or anywhere in between, as you put that wafer, bread, Eucharist or whatever your denomination calls it, into your mouth, you are none the less, partaking in what Jesus meant this to be. You are doing it in faith. Let’s celebrate that we can all partake of the Bread of Life. It’s when we denigrate how others partake of this Communion, that we again pierce Christ on the Cross.

Let’s look at every Christian with Love and although not all of us agree on Table Fellowship, we can agree that we are partakers of the Divine Nature. Let’s all pray together and rejoice in the Lord always. Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.

I talk about Table Fellowship in another post on this blog.

(Personal Note): Several years ago we were thinking about leaving the Catholic Church. The main reason we didn’t leave the Catholic Church is because of our belief in the Real Presence in the Eucharist. After reading John, Chapter 6, I wanted to learn more about Transubstantition and figure out for myself what it means. Of course I couldn’t do this on my own, as I’m just like the Ethiopian eunuch and needed to study the Church Fathers, and several commentaries by leading theologians on both sides of the fence.

For someone who is Catholic and has received the Eucharist as The Body of Christ by answering Amen, (Yes I believe), when it is reverently received by you, to leave the Catholic Church is to do as the disciples did in John 6:66 and that is to walk away from him. This doesn’t apply to someone who has never accepted the Eucharist as the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, but it does apply to any disciple of Christ, who did accept Transubstantiation in the Eucharist.

We are also members of a vibrant and God-Loving non-Denominational Church, called Hope Community Church, here in the Raleigh, NC area. Not all Protestant Churches have a Liturgy, but have what may be called a synagogue or auditorium style form of worship, where the serman is the main focus. Many use a Series style approach to Scripture. The Series approach leads members of the church into a very personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

In Christ,

Ron Zell

I found some spelling errors on the comments I posted at other blogs. I’ve also polished it up a bit to post here. That’s what happens when you comment via a cellphone. Apologies.

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About Ron Sr.

Just a guy who came to his senses.
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One Response to What did Jesus mean when he said “Eat My Flesh”

  1. Very well written seems like higher value and deeper understanding with this article have been brought to the table.

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