If John 6 is speaking of the eucharist, how can non Catholics be saved?

I’ve asked this question twice on the “ask an apologist” forum but apparently it doesn’t qualify, so I figured I’d ask it here.

I am about to start RCIA after being a protestant for 18 years (and grown up my entire life in protestant churches). This was one question I had regarding what seems like conflicting church teaching and talking to one of my protestant friends about me converting, he asked the same question.

In John 6, Jesus says:

“Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you will not have life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. Just as the living Father has sent me and I live because of the Father, so also whoever eats me, the same shall live because of me. This is the bread that descends from heaven. It is not like the manna that your fathers ate, for they died. Whoever eats this bread shall live forever.”

If this is to be taken as the eucharist, how can non Catholics be saved since they cannot partake of his body and blood?

They can because John 6 isn’t referring to the Eucharist. If it was then even non believers would have eternal life simply because they are eating.

How is that possible that a non believer could eat, and a believer can eat, but the believer would come under judgement if they would eat in a unworthy manner? I not a non believer worse off that a believer?

(1Co 11:27 KJV) Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

(1Co 11:28 KJV) But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

(1Co 11:29 KJV) For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.


Check Catholic answers. Of course this verses are about Eucharist. But they speak about moral necessity. Theoretically it is possible for a person who has never taken communion to be saved. But it is extremely hard for him to stay on the right Road. The communion spiritually nourishes . The one who doesn’t take it risks dying of spiritual hunger.

Why can nonCatholics not partake in His body and blood? I do every week.
Not trying to derail the thread, but Lutherans and Anglicans at least would dispute the initial premise that the Eucharist is not found among us.

That said, we are also told," he who believes and is baptized shall be saved." Suffice it to say God has made salvation available to us through His grace.


You’re spot on with your question, if the RCC is correct.

Of course, as I’ve stated before, John 6 isn’t about the Eucharist or the Last Supper.

When you start RCIA, you will receive a Catechism of the Catholic church which gives in detail all the teachings of the Body of Christ. There is no way that a person can hang their hat on one verse of scripture from the Word of God. You may not be able to answer all your detractors questions yet, but you have not really started the process of conversion, except in your heart. Your instruction period usually lasts between six and nine months. Advise your friend that you will be able to explain more when you learn more. May God bless you on your journey. It is a wonderful journey leading to joyful union with the Church that Jesus started when he walked on the earth and appointed his apostles to carry out his instructions, going forth to teach all nations, administering the sacraments, keeping true to his message until he returns.:slight_smile:

Many non-Catholics take part in the Eucharist.


Paul is speaking about the Eucharist, Jesus is not speaking about the Eucharist in John 6. It wouldn’t make any sense if he was, since the Eucharist wouldn’t exist until about 2 years after John 6. Why would Jesus be telling them to do something that was impossible?

Could you explain what you mean by the Eucharist not existing until about 2 years after John 6?

Jesus established the Eucharist at the Last Supper, he spoke the words of John 6 about 2 years prior to that event.

Source for this, please? I don’t recall anything in Scripture detailing the timing of John 6.

Sure, the Catholic Encyclopedia states John 6 occurred in Spring AUC 781. That would be AD 28. And the Last Supper to be Spring AUC 782.


My mistake, it was about a year from John 6 to the establishment of the Eucharist, but my point still stands.

This is the foundation of the Catholic Church, because it encapsulates everything we believe in: faith, grace, trust, a unity with God as well as a unity with the entire Body of believers. All Catholics become One with our Lord Jesus Christ, as well as the Father and the Holy Spirit. The Holy Eucharist is both a physical and spiritual unity. It is not a mere symbolic ritual.

Whether one believes in it or not. Everyone in their own conscience must ask why Jesus put so much importance on eating the bread that came down from heaven. If it was just symbolic why did those who heard Jesus walk away? It was one of the few times in the Gospels when would be believers walked away. If all they needed for salvation was symbolic faith, they would not have rejected the bread of life Jesus offered.
Another question might be: If God. If our Lord and saviour created heaven and Earth, why is it so difficult to accept and believe that bread and wine cannot possibly become his body and blood?

The Holy Eucharist is found no where else, even if other sacraments like Baptism are in protestant faiths. These gifts left to us by almighty God is why we plead those that seek God to receive the sacramental gifts found only in the Church founded by our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. God bless, you’re asking the right questions, follow the truth wherever it takes you, because it will always lead you to Christ.

First of all, you are mistaken about what protestants believe. Most do not believe that communion is merely symbolic. Just as in baptism, only the physical elements are symbolic,but the spiritual reality is much greater than anything in the flesh.

In regard to Jn6, I agree with Peter who at the end of the discourse said “Lord, you have the WORDS of eternal life” . We are to believe or “eat” the words. This is an idiomatic saying from the OT that a Jew would understand.

Fair enough.

but my point still stands.

But since no one was saved until the atoning death of Christ, not sure what your point is?

If the Jews did understand that this was merely an idiom, then why did they leave?

*From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him–John 6:66
No one would leave because of a saying that one must figuratively eat Jesus’ words.

That is most definitely not a "hard saying’.

Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?–John 6:60

What you have done here, eazy, is taken a hard saying of Christ and changed it to make it more palatable and acceptable to your human appetites.

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My is that John 6 is not about the Eucharist because the Eucharist didn’t yet exist.

Then, to be consistent, John 6 isn’t talking about salvation either and eternal life, because there was no eternal life until Jesus died and rose.

Is that your position?

What, then, is Jesus talking about since it can’t be about eternal life either?

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Not at all. There was salvation before Christ’s death and resurrection. Jesus was talking about faith, that is how folks were saved before and after Jesus.

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