Do these words in John 6:63 imply that Jesus meant his words regarding his body and blood in a spiritual, not literal/physical sense?
Why would Jesus go through all the trouble to repeat over and over, without explanation, and while some of his followers were abandoning him, that we are to eat his flesh and drink his blood if we are to have eternal life, and then turn around and contradict himself?
To speak of eating one’s flesh in Semitic languages, including modern Hebrew and Arabic, but also the Aramaic of Jesus’ time, is a metaphor for insulting someone, dragging their name through the dust. So if Jesus is supposed to be taken figuratively, then what he says makes no sense: “Insult me in the most shameful way possible if you want to have eternal life.” So we have to take him literally: “Eat my flesh and drink my blood if you want to have eternal life.” At the Last Supper, the way of doing this is revealed to the Apostles and given to them to do, and to hand on, as it was handed on to St. Paul. “Take and eat, this is my body. Take and drink, this is my blood.” Do you doubt that the God who could create all things with a word could speak a word over bread and wine and turn them into his Body and Blood?
The Spirit gives life to the flesh. Flesh in-and-of-itself is mere flesh, non-life. Christ’s physical and literal flesh, i.e. His Body and Blood, give life because of His Holy Spirit. His words regarding ‘spirit and life’ are not to put flesh and spirit into a dichotomy, but to place primacy on what, or Whom, gives life to that flesh, viz. Christ’s Spirit.
No. Jesus meant what He said.
He says that the flesh is of no avail- that’s not to mean His flesh is of no avail, otherwise His sacrifice would have accomplished nothing (and we know that to be false). Rather, He speaks of human understanding apart from God’s guidance. He is explaining why so many people left Him that day- they weren’t allowing God to guide their understanding.
In stark contrast, Jesus’ words were spirit and life- in other words, truth.
If you are going to take it in a spiritual and not literal/physical sense than verse 51throws a huge monkey wrench into that interpretation.
"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." (John 6:51)
Did Jesus physically and literally give his flesh on the cross for the life of the world?
If the answer to that question is “Yes”, than read that verse again.
The flesh to be eaten as bread is the same flesh given for the life of the world in the same sentence. It is the same flesh. We know he physically and literally died on the cross, which means he meant this physically and literally. Of course there is a spiritual element to his words (as there is in all of his words), but trying to say that this is entirely spiritual, does not work.
The word Spirit in the Bible does not mean metaphorical.
Thanks for your answers everyone. I now do not doubt the truth of transubstantiation.
I think what Protestants fail to ponder sufficiently is that Jesus said “…the words that I have spoken…”. That means ALL of the words in the discourse, not just 2 of them. It is all of those words tell us how we can receive His spirit and eternal life right within us. We need to believe Him and do them.
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