Summary: Jesus said we must eat his flesh and drink his blood to have eternal life. We want to get the life of Jesus in us so we must eat divine food.
“You Are What You Eat.”
Jesus has just fed 5,000 people and then tried to get away a while for a little rest to kick back with his closest friends and regroup, but the crowds kept following him. He knows they just want another free meal.
If we look back in verse 26 in chapter 6, he tells them this to their face.
(Read verses 26 – 55)
Jesus mentions the word “bread” 13 times right here in the passages we’ve read today. (We’re not talking low carb here!)
The crowd just wants physical bread and they are willing to go to great lengths to get it. Jesus is speaking of an eternal spiritual filling that will never leave us empty again.
So they kind of go along with his drift for a few minutes and say something like, “Oh, you mean you can give us bread that lasts forever like Moses gave us the manna?” But Jesus says, “You’ve got that wrong, too. It was my Father who gave the manna to you, not Moses. The bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
“Well, great, they say, from now on give us this bread.”
But Jesus didn’t say he PROVIDES bread from heaven,
He said he is the bread of heaven. Remember he was born in Bethlehem, which means, “the house of bread” and he was laid in a manger, a feeding trough. In every way God was saying Jesus is heavenly bread!
When Jesus replies, “I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE”, they get lost in the literal translation of it and start to balk at the idea.
Who does he think he is telling us he came down from heaven? We know his father and mother. This is Jesus the son of Joseph.
Oh is he really? Jesus never once called Joseph his father.
Wrong, wrong, wrong, fellows!
At this point they are as confused as Nicodemus was about being born again and the woman at the well was about never having to draw anymore water.
I used to think if someone said they believed every word of the Bible was “literal” they were right. (Now don’t get me wrong here, I still believe every word of the Bible is TRUE in fact as I often say I believe it from cover to cover including the cover because it says its genuine leather!)
But some words Jesus spoke were meant to be interpreted in picture language metaphorically and in a spiritual sense.
Jesus taught by using familiar physical things to help explain spiritual realities. But when they insisted upon stubbornly clinging to their misconceptions, Jesus didn’t take it personally. He just said, “No one can come to me unless my father draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.
I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life.”
You see in the physical world we say “Seeing is believing.”
But in the spiritual realm, it is reversed “Believing is seeing.”
Jesus went on to emphasize how he was the bread of life.
He said if you eat this bread from heaven you will not die because I am LIVING bread so you can eat this bread and live forever. “This bread is my FLESH which I will give for the life of the world.”
They were still incredulous. “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” What a horrific, cannibalistic idea!
Jesus really went out on a limb this time and said,
“I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.”
(refer to verses 54 to 57)
This flew in the face of all their doctrine! They had been taught in every generation since God gave the leviticul laws, not to eat the blood of any animal. This absolutely repulsed them.
They didn’t even try to understand the analogy. Do we?
Jesus was the WORD MADE FLESH. God the Father wanted to give us his word, so he gave it to us in a way we could hear it with our physical ears from the physical mouth of Jesus.
God wanted to save us from eternal death so he took the flesh of Jesus as a human sacrifice in our place for the wages of sin. We need his flesh from his mother’s side and his blood from his father’s side to save us!
They knew it was written, ”Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin.”
They had taken lambs to the altar over and over and still failed to understand that God was drawing pictures of how he planned to provide the TRUE LAMB.
In their temple worship when they sacrificed an animal it was considered giving it to God and when they ate some of the meat afterwards they felt they had God inside themselves. (That’s why they felt they shouldn’t eat meat that was sacrificed to idols.)