A Protestant Question on John 6:63-64


#1

Placed back into the context of all of John Chapter six; what is Christ Teaching here?

DR Bible John 6:63-64 “It is the spirit that quickeneth: the flesh profiteth nothing. The words that I have spoken to you, are spirit and life. But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that did not believe and who he was that would betray him”

King James Bible: 63-64 “It is the spirit that quickeneth ; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. 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.”


#2

The Navarre Bible commentary says that these verses (6: 60-71)

"…show how the disciples received Jesus’ words. In revealing the Eucharistic mystery Jesus requires his disciples to believe what he says because it is he who has said it. His revelation should not be interpreted in a human way, that is, by focusing exclusively on what is visible to the senses or by having a natural as distinct from supernatural view of things: it should be interpreted as a revelation from God, who is “spirit” and “life.”


#3

The answer relies within Tradition ,

God Bless my friend


#4

Most Protestants interpret the word “spirit” in this passage metaphorically, thus they interpret these verses as being purely metaphorical, as they do they whole of Jesus’ discourse in which he says he is a door, etc.

To them the word “flesh” means the flesh of Christ in these verses–because they believe/think he was speaking metaphorically about eating his flesh and drinking his blood. This is a faulty interpretation, but they hold to it because it gives them a reason–one that appears plausible on the surface–to deny the Real Presence in the Eucharist.


#5

From A Commentary on the New Testament, prepared by the Catholic Biblical Association, 1942, page 319, on John 6:64:
64. *Flesh *in John’s usage generally denotes human nature unaided by grace; if that is its signification here, the meaning is that they cannot understand the revelation without the help of the Spirit. Another explanation: it is not the flesh as such, but the flesh united to the Divinity, that becomes a food of supernatural efficacy. His revelation, if accepted, will lead them to this spiritual life.


#6

Noticed Jesus did NOT say “My flesh profits nothing” but “The flesh profits nothing”. A big difference.


#7

Indeed. But try telling that to a convinced Evangelical or Fundamentalist. When people don’t want to accept a truth, they will not be told. We can only present the truth, it’s up to the other person to accept it or deny it. :shrug:


#8

Review the word "Spirit" in scripture.

The word spirit comes from the Latin word spiritus, or breath. In Greek it is pneuma from which we get pneumonia and pneumantic. In Hebrew it is ruah.

**In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters.* (Genesis 1:1-2 RSV)*

Other translations say that a "Mighty wind" swept over the face of the deep. This is the creating, life giving spirit of God, the breath of God which creates, and gives life. The Latin, Greek and Hebrew words spiritus, pneuma and ruah, all convey the sense of breathing or of moving air.

**then the LORD God formed the man out of the dust of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. (Genesis 2:7)

Again we see God breathing. God's spiritus is a life giving force. God's ruah/spiritus/pneuma/breath/spirit is what makes man a living being.

**He asked me: Son of man, can these bones come to life? "Lord GOD," I answered, "you alone know that." Then he said to me: Prophesy over these bones, and say to them: Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: See! I will bring spirit into you, that you may come to life. I will put sinews upon you, make flesh grow over you, cover you with skin, and put spirit in you so that you may come to life and know that I am the LORD. ... Then he said to me: Prophesy to the spirit, prophesy, son of man, and say to the spirit: Thus says the Lord GOD: From the four winds come, O spirit, and breathe into these slain that they may come to life. I prophesied as he told me, and the spirit came into them; they came alive and stood upright, a vast army. (Ezekiel 37:3-6,9-10)

Here again, God's life giving spirit is seen as moving air. God's ruah brings the dry bones to life. Jesus speaks of being born in the context of moving air and the life giving pheuma of God in his conversation with Nicodemus about baptism.

**What is born of flesh is flesh and what is born of spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I told you, ‘You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:7-8)

Jesus then goes on to breathe on the twelve.

**And when he had said this, he breathed on them **and said to them, “Receive the holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” (John 20:22:23)

Jesus' breath is the mechanism whereby they are given the special gift of the Holy Spirit which allows them to forgive sins and bring people back to spritual life. The image of moving air as a life giving force, the breath of God which creates and gives life, is the context in which we have to understand Jesus' words in John 6:63-64.

**It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. *(John 6:63)*

It is the life giving breath of God, his creative ruah, which gives life. That's the same life giving and life sustaining breath which blew over the waters in Genesis 1, which was blown into man's nostrils to make him a living being in Genesis 2, which blew on the dry bones and brought them to life in Ezekiel 37, and which blew on the Apostles in the upper room, giving them the ability to restore sinners to life in John 20.

The flesh is of no avail.

Your eyes will see bread. Your nose will smell alcohol. Your tounge will taste wine. Your human mind cannot now possibly understand what I am going to fully reveal to you on the night before I am to die, nor human reason and intellect ever fully comprehend it.

The words I have spoken to you are spirit... and life!

The Eucharist will be your life, the breath of God within you. It's about spiritus, pnuema and the ruah of God breathing life into you, and food which gives life.

-Tim-


#9

John 6 is about two things; Jesus is God, and we have to eat His flesh and drink His blood. The diciples didn’t believe Him when He told them that He came down from Heaven, (Jn 6:38), even though He had just performed a miracle. Now, they don’t believe Him about His body and blood. If God can multiply loaves and fishes, why wouldn’t He be able to breath life (Truly His life!) into mere bread! As Tim H. reminds us above , in Ezekial, God puts flesh and sinew onto dry bones!

John wouldn’t have spent the whole chapter saying that Jesus is God and wants us to eat Him, and then at the end say that His flesh profiteth nothing! If His flesh profiteth nothing, why would He have come to us in the flesh in the first place?

This is a really hard one for Protestants to admit to. But it’s often the clincher. Once you have real flesh and blood, you have real sacrifice. Then you need a priesthood, and all the rest follows…The Catholic Church! :highprayer::byzsoc::shamrock2:


#10

It is a rejection of Jewish legalism. In v.56, Jesus instructs his disciples to drink his blood, a direct contravention of a repeated injunction in Jewish Law (Lev 3:17, 7:26, 17:12, 17:14). His disciples are shocked by this (v.61), and so he tells them in v.63 that it is not the merely physical act of the consumption of blood which was ever the issue, but rather the spiritual act of sacrificing to idols, which was the context of the Levitical proscription. See also such things as Mat 15:11, “Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.”


#11

The Jewish prohibition against blood was due to the life of the animal being in the blood. When you drank the blood of an animal you were drinking its life. (Lev 17:14) The animals that were sacrificed were images of the pagan gods. So if you were drinking the blood of these animals you were recieving the life of those gods.

Now Jesus comes along, and says he’s God, and tells them to drink his blood. Pretty interesting? This is a life we want. Peter says we recieve the Divine Nature through the promises of Jesus. (2 Peter 1:3,4) Jesus says we need this to have life in us.


#12

[quote="TimothyH, post:8, topic:299855"]
Review the word "Spirit" in scripture. ...

[/quote]

:thumbsup: Excellent post.


#13

The protestant twisting of this verse that “spirit” is good and “flesh” is bad (aside from being Platonic/Gnostic) also creates a grammatical error. The assumption is that “flesh” being bad cannot be part of the Table and “spirit” being good can. The problem is that they are assuming that Jesus is talking about God’s Spirit and then including His own body into the category of all “flesh”.

That is a silly assumption though since “spirit quickening” in the Greek is a present active participle and “flesh profits” in the Greek is a present active indicative phrase. Meaning that Spirit does something and flesh does nothing.

So let us grant the protestant their assumption knowing this.

If only spirit profits and not flesh then Christ’s flesh cannot atone for sin.

OOPS:blush:

Since there is no distinction in the verse between which spirit and which flesh Christ is referring to then why not assume that the spirit of which He speaks also includes man’s fallen spirit since we are assuming that “flesh” includes Christ’s flesh? Then why have an atonement at all if man can save himself by his own spirit which would be like unto Christ’s?

OOPS:blush:

No it is better, Biblical and reasonable given that Jesus has just declared Himself to be the “Bread” that, unlike the bread in the wilderness, once eaten will bring life and save from death. Thus the “flesh” spoken of would then be “your flesh” by which you cannot save yourself apart from Jesus’ grace and mercy (a thoroughly Biblical teaching) and Spirit would then be hand in hand with the very bread of Jesus’ Body by which men are saved.

After all if Jesus says He is the manna that must be eaten for eternal life and flesh profits nothing (meaning the same flesh) then Jesus has just contradicted Himself and thus proven that He is not God.

OOPS:blush:

God bless


#14

Protestants, in looking at John 6, appeal to the context which comes before “eat my flesh and drink my blood”:

6:35 And Jesus said unto them, “I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”

6:40 “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”

6:47 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.”

It seems disturbingly clear that John 6’s context does not allow for a specific Eucharistic understanding. :frowning:

EDIT: maybe we should just see what they say for themselves: justforcatholics.org/a11.htm
More importantly:
justforcatholics.org/a73.htm


#15

=jakael02;9821743]noticed jesus did not say "my flesh profits nothing" but "the flesh profits nothing". A big difference.

excellent point; thank you,


#16

=babs57;9823324]The Jewish prohibition against blood was due to the life of the animal being in the blood. When you drank the blood of an animal you were drinking its life. (Lev 17:14) The animals that were sacrificed were images of the pagan gods. So if you were drinking the blood of these animals you were recieving the life of those gods.

Now Jesus comes along, and says he’s God, and tells them to drink his blood. Pretty interesting? This is a life we want. Peter says we recieve the Divine Nature through the promises of Jesus. (2 Peter 1:3,4) Jesus says we need this to have life in us.

EXCELLENT! THANKS,

THE MESSAGE HERE FROM CHRIST IN THAT "EVEN MY HUMAN BODY’ IS OF NO SPIRITUAL BENEFIT…BUT…

“I AM” SPIRIT AND TRUTH AND AS GOD IN** MY NOW RESURRECTED AND GLORIFIED BODY “I AM” THE WAY. THE TRUTH AND THEEE LIFE**.:thumbsup:

Exodus 3:14 “God said to Moses: I AM WHO AM. He said: Thus shalt thou say to the children of Israel: HE WHO IS, hath sent me to you.”

John 4:23 -24 “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true adorers shall adore the Father in spirit and in truth. For the Father also seeketh such to adore him.God is a spirit; and they that adore him, must adore him in spirit and in truth”

God Bless,
Pat


#17

Exactly
That’s why when the liturgy of the Eucharist begains we are exhorted to lift up our hearts leave our flesh behind because we must be in the spirit when we receive Christ.


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