Was Jesus subject to the Torah?

I was discussing Transubstantiation with a person who is very anti-Catholic and he brought up this issue which too be honest with you has me stumped, I don’t know how to answer it. He said that part of Jesus mission was to live the Torah(Law) perfectly as part of his redemptive mission, I can agree with that, but here is where it gets sticky. He said that if Jesus told us to eat His literal Flesh and Blood in the Eucharist that would violate the Torah(Law) and disqualify Jesus as the Messiah because ir would be a breaking of the Torah(Law). Also he cited Acts 15:20 and Acts 15:29 that the Apostles would not have held to Transubstantiation because they expressly told us to “Abstain” from Blood. and therefore because of that the Eucharist is symbolically a commemoration of Christ’s Life, Death, and Ressurection. I hope you can help me with this, Thank You. In Christ, jurist12

Dear Jurist,

Who says that Jesus was subject to the Torah? Where does your friend find that “part of Jesus’ mission was to live the Torah perfectly?” He came to FULFILL the Law. He was not subject to it!

Yes indeed, having people drink His blood would violate the Torah. This is precisely why so many of His disciples left Him. Read John 6! If Jesus were only speaking symbolically, there would have been no reason for anyone to leave Him. If they had misunderstood Him, He would have called them back to explain that He really didn’t mean it. But He didn’t call them back. “The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ So Jesus said to them, ‘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; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and by blood is drink indeed.” (Jn 6: 52-55) Jesus could not have been more emphatic about really eating His flesh and drinking His blood.

Acts 15:20 and 15:29 are concerned with receiving Gentiles into the faith and making sure that they did not eat food offered to idols or animals that were strangled or their blood. This has ABOSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the Eucharist!

Familiarize with John 6—the whole chapter. It is powerful. We Catholics have nothing to fear from Scripture. We have the truth. All we need do is be familiar with it—and grateful for it!

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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