John 6 and the Eucharist


Hi guys, I have been looking at biblical arguments for the Catholic view of the Eucharist. Besides the "verses of institution" ( Mathew, Mark and Luke and 1 Corinthians 11) every discussion quickly points to John 6. So I decided to look at the context a little and reading the whole chapter this is what I got:

In the first 50 verses he seems to be using a metaphor. I am the True bread of heaven, whoever believes in me shall have life. However the rest of the chapter he seems to be speaking literally and the people around him including the 12, understand him literally and are deeply offended by it. His statements in verses 61-65 do not make the previous 10 verses sound figurative, to me they make them sound even more literal. Also in verse 4. It says the Jewish passover is near. Which I find of note given the Lord Supper is the passover meal.

So I'm kind of left unconvinced... He is so clearly speaking in metaphor in the first part of the chapter, how can I be certain he isn't in the rest of it? ... besides the obvious... that it doesn't sound metaphorical at all.

Is there anything else about this text, or other texts of scriptures that make it more clear that John 6 is meant to be applied to the Eucharist and taken Literal?

Feel free to link me to resources and/or tell me to "lurk more".



Are there any metaphors in the Jewish language in which someone would refer to other people “chewing” on them?


In John 6:66 many of Jesus’ disciples walked away from Him. He did not call them back to correct a “misunderstanding”. He not only let them go but He asked His disciples, at the risk of standing there all by Himself after two years of ministry, whether or not they would want to leave. Jesus knew what those who left were thinking and He did not water down His command nor did He change one word of what He said. Many have followed this command to this day and so many have trouble accepting it.

The Word that spoke when things leaped into existence is the same Word that proclaimed, " This is my body". To deny the power in Jesus’ authority to cause change by His very essence as the logos (Word) is to build boundaries around an infinite God.

Take some time and research Catholic commentaries on this very important chapter in John’s gospel. The Eucharist has been worshipped since the beginnings of Christian worship. In Luke’s gospel you have the story of the Road to Emmaus. This is the liturgical structure of the Mass and here we see that Jesus was recognized in the breaking of the bread. Why did Jesus vanish after the disciples asked Him to stay with them? Because He did stay with them in His presence in the Eucharist. To have remained there in the body would have been redundant.

There is so much more from Scripture, the writings of the Early Church Fathers and historical accounts regarding the worship of Christians after the ascension. Please take the time and research this carefully. The Eucharist is a beautiful gift left for us by Christ Himself. Those who find it find a treasure that can only be fulfilled in the beatific vision. God bless you…teachccd :slight_smile:


Well, you have 2,000 years of both the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Oriental Orthodox Churches (1.5 billion+ members) believing that Christ is present. You have the writings of the early Church Fathers (who wrote before the bible was assembled and canonized), you have the Lutherans and Anglicans, Episcopalians and Methodists (among others) believing it. You have a litany of martyrs who gave their lives for the sake of the Eucharist. You have eucharistic miracles that are documented.

But, even better than all of this, you have Jesus Christ, in His true presence, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, available for your adoration pleasure at each and every Catholic parish. I challenge you to call a nearby parish and find out when they offer adoration of the Blessed Sacrament (or “holy hour”). Then, just go to the chapel and sit. Gaze upon him. Read those scriptures before Him. Ask Him to reveal to you that He is present. Then, just be as patient with our Lord as He has been with you.

As Franciscan Priest Fr. Benedict Groeschel says, “When you are aware that He is there, you will be changed.”


In the first part of John 6, Jesus had fed the 5,000 with a few loaves and fishes. Then he didn’t go back across the lake in the boat with the apostles. Later, he walked on the water to the boat, which then suddenly came ashore.

It was almost as though he wanted to impress them in preparation for the bread of life discourse. Reading the discourse, one sees that He led the conversation in the direction he wanted it to go, ending with the exhortation that his body was real food and his blood real drink. It was only later, at the last supper (as related in Eucharistic Institution accounts) that he clarified it further: THIS is my body, and THIS is my blood.




In the verses to follow this Discourse, the Apostles ask:

6:60 “This teaching is difficult, who can accept it?”

Now, I don’t know about you, but when i hear a metaphor i don’t believe that it is a teaching. I believe that a metaphor is an example of teaching to be presented in the near future.

So, if Jesus was speaking in Metaphors, he would have called back all those people who left him and said “Wait! Wait! Hold on a second. I haven’t got to the teaching yet!” But instead he let’s them go and that is when the Apostles knew that it was a teaching and not a metaphor.

We must also look at what is said after Jesus hears some of his disciples complaining about this teaching.

61 But Jesus, being aware that his disciples were complaining about it, said to them, “Does this offend you?
62 Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?
63 It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.
64 But among you there are some who do not believe.”

In the Red, Jesus calls out the disciples’ beliefs. Basically, if they believe that he can ascend than why can’t they believe that He can give them His flesh to it.

In the Blue, Jesus gives His disciples the hint that he is speaking from the Divine. Therefore, his teaching cannot be metaphorical because the Divine is not a metaphor it is true.

Also to point out that the Apostles knew that they received his body at the Last Supper because they remember Jesus telling him that the bread they eat will be his flesh and so when Jesus says “This is my Body which will be given up for you” the Apostles immediately knew that this was truly Jesus’ body. The apostles also learned at the Last Supper that they had the power to bring about the Body and Blood when Christ said “Do this in remembrance of me.”

And there ya go :smiley:


The OT points to the NT, and the NT fulfills the OT.

With this in mind, knowing that Jesus is the Passover Lamb of the New Covenant, we can look to the original Passover to learn more about Jesus.

Well, at the original Passover, it was not only necessary to sacrifice the lamb in order to be saved that night, they also had to EAT it! They did not do so metaphorically.

Is it a coincidence that Jesus says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on 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.”??? (John 6:53-55).

Not a coincidence, not a metaphor.

God bless :slight_smile:




You say that it left you confused. Look at the following, Jesus is saying this before he dies. What does he do in the last supper. He tells the apostles, this is my body and blood. He could have corrected any misinterpretation, but he stated the same as in John 6.


If you have a spare hr or so, this goes pretty deep into understanding the eucharist. Using plenty of biblical references…

Hope this helps


Confirmation of Christ’s presence in the Eucharist will not be found in the rational world. It will be in the spiritual realm. Seek it there.


That’s an excellent video, theirs another video by Tim staples.


We don’t believe Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist because of John 6. Catholic Tradition is where we receive this belief from. The belief preceeded the writing of the Gospel. So be careful about trying to prooftext backwards to prove the belief, that is putting the cart before the horse!


The critical thing is that Jesus said that UNLESS you do … you have no life in you!

Later, at the Last Supper He makes it clear what must be done and believed.

Other than the Eucharist, HOW would one “eat His flesh” and “drink His blood” < His words. ?

I have heard the darndest man made alternatives proposed. Like "feeding on the ‘Word of God’ " would be reading the Bible!

Reading the Bible might be attending to the Word of God, which also is a title of Jesus. But then would those who could not read – not be saved? And Bibles were not mass produced until the 1400s. And the New Testament was not completed until almost AD 100, and the books not canonized by the Church until almost 400 AD.

How would people fulfill Jesus’ imperative of John 6:53

Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.” ?

And Jesus did not hold scripture up and say “take this and eat of it …” or “read,” etc.

We can be too smart by half if we are not careful. A childlike faith and just doing what Jesus commanded with belief, in this case, is the best choice.

Intellectual pride separating people from God is as old as the fall of man in Eden.

As a crescendo and finale to His public teaching and earthly life on the night of the Last Supper – did Jesus challenge his “tried and true” apostles to their final faith testing difficulty of believing that what looks like bread – is bread?! That’s a rather pedestrian act of faith to kick off an everlasting covenant with – on the night before Jesus offers QUITE a totally literal sacrifice on the cross.

Changing the teachings of Christ into something easier to understand or deal with is nothing new either. False teachers variously claimed that Jesus also wasn’t really:

The Son of God, The Son of Man, Divine, Human, born of a virgin, crucified to death,
resurrected, etc, etc, etc. :shrug:

A more fruitful search begins with “I believe the Eucharist is truly what Jesus and the Church says (it/He) is,” therefore ___________________ . < Seek and ye shall find. :slight_smile:


Doctor of the Church, St Cyril of Alexandria, Homilies on the Gospel of John, Book 4:2

For he that eateth My Flesh (saith He) and drinketh My Blood abideth in Me and I in him. For as if one should join wax with other wax, he will surely see (I suppose) the one in the other; in like manner (I deem) he who receiveth the Flesh of our Saviour Christ and drinketh His Precious Blood, as He saith, is found one with Him, commingled as it were and immingled with Him through the participation, so that he is found in Christ, Christ again in him.

Thus was Christ teaching us in the Gospel too according to Matthew, saying, The Kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened. Who then the woman is, what the three measures of meal, or what the measure at all, shall be spoken of in its proper place: for the present we will speak only of the leaven. As then Paul saith that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump, so the least portion of the Blessing blendeth our whole body with itself, and filleth it with its own mighty working, and so Christ cometh to be in us, and we again in Him. For one may truly say that the leaven is in the whole lump, and the lump by like reasoning is in the whole leaven: you have in brief the sense of the words. And if we long for eternal life, if we pray to have the Giver of immortality in ourselves, let us not like some of the more heedless refuse to be blessed nor let the Devil deep in wickedness, lay for us a trap and snare a perilous reverence.


Yes. The Church was celebrating the Eucharist long before the Gospels were written. The Church wasn’t just waiting around for someone to write the Gospels and Epistles so it could figure out what to do next. It was already doing it!


Please read Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist by Brant Pitre. It explains how the early Christians immediately saw the Eucharist as Jesus’ flesh and blood. It will answer all questions.



The Apostles celebrated the Eucharist according to Jesus’ command in the upper room. They took it on faith that what appeared for all the world to remain simply bread and wine had now become, by the power of the Holy Spirit, the Body and Blood of Christ. So, their belief in the Eucharist arrived early even if their understanding had to develop over the time that followed. Throughout the Gospels, you often see Jesus upbraiding them for their lack of understanding. Some things simply need revelation to our spirits.

An easy read that may help: This Is My Body written by evangelical convert Mark P. Shea. A quick 50 page condensation of the reasons that lead him to believe in Christ’s true presence int he Eucharist. Reading and re-reading this brief description of his journey will allow his reasoning to be absorbed.


And clearly, they were doing it in Corinth when St. Paul wrote to them to admonish them not to receive, if they did not discern the Body and the Blood in the Holy Eucharist, lest they eat and drink damnation upon themselves.

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