What is your view on these verses?


''But Jesus, knowing in himself, that his disciples murmured at this, said to them: Doth this scandalize you? 63 If then you shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? 64 It is the spirit that quickeneth: the flesh profiteth nothing. The words that I have spoken to you, are spirit and life. ‘’ John 6:62-64

The disciples were just murmuring about eating his flesh and blood.


More than anything, I think Jesus looked at them in the sense of, come on guys, we have walked together for 3 years, you should sense by now who I am.

Plus, what does Peter say later on, who else can we follow, if you speak the truth.


You need to keep in context (John 6 is a **long **chapter). Jesus was not saying that His words on eating His Flesh and drinking His blood were just ‘figurative’.

Think about it. Not the disciples, but the big crowds who had been cheering for Jesus as Messiah on Palm Sunday were the ones who were totally ‘grossed out’ by the ‘eat my flesh’ comments. They walk away.

Does Jesus say, “Hey wait, guys, this is only figurative, I don’t mean you to eat my REAL flesh?” No.

Further, if this were what He was later telling the disciples (“Say, guys, you know this is only figurative talk”) then why didn’t the **disciples and their successors **teach the people that this was figurative? They didn’t. They taught Christ’s words as literal.

Except for some heretics like the Manicheans and the Albigensians (I don’t think you want to associate with them, because they taught matter is bad, spirit is good, therefore abortion, fornication, and suicide were great), no Christian taught that Christ’s Eucharist was a symbol, not His Real Presence --until the 16th century Protestants, and not the very earliest ones at that.


For a real good explanation (far better than the now worn radio apologetic version of Jesus not saying, something like “not really…come back,”) can be found in ST. AUGUSTINE
On John 6:60–72.


How do you know that Christ was not trying to help them discern who he saw himself as; namely his words and doctrine were what he was, and eating of the doctrine he espoused would lead to life? Why does he say the flesh profiteth nothing? Nada zip zilch? It’s almost as if he was highlighting the meaning behind his previous bread of life speech. So mainly why would I want to eat of that which will profit me nothing?


Again, please show where Christianity (you know, from the disciples on) **ever taught that the Eucharist was ‘nothing’, and that Jesus’ ‘real message’ was symbolic ‘eating’ of 'doctrine etc.

You won’t find it in the first 1500 years or more. You won’t find it in the Catholic Church today–and you won’t find it in the Orthodox either. Why don’t the two oldest Christian Churches teach this?


St. Augustine is an excellent source, yet in reading the tractate it fails to address the fundamental issue… Why purport in Catholicism to eat the literal flesh and blood of Christ in the Eucharist if the flesh itself is of no value?


Do you care for history or for truth? I care to understand what Christ meant to teach. That means testing ALL things (1 Thess 5:21). For if I accept the doctrines of men instead of relying on God to show me wisdom (James 1:22) than am I not no better than a Pharisee?


Christ’s Flesh has no value? Really? :confused: news to me!


Wait, are you saying history and truth contradict each other?

Are you saying you care to understand Christ’s teachings (good for you) but I don’t, because I disagree with you?

Are you saying that Catholic teaching is the doctrine or men and not relying on God? On what do you base this charge?


Christ himself just said ‘‘the flesh profiteth nothing’’.


So He was saying His flesh (specifically His flesh), 'profiteth nothing?

Why did He become man then?


Again, read the whole chapter of John. You’re assuming that His words refer only to what He said about His flesh and blood, and not to something else. Tell me, WAS there something else He could have meant there?


No I mean to have a discourse on the understanding of this passage in order that meaning can be found which is profitable. I would hope you also wish to understand Christ’s words… yet appealing to history and church authority does not address the issue. It sidetracks from it through argumentum ab auctoritate fallacious reasoning.


Here is my take (and the Church’s) on your verses.

IF any person were to eat simply ‘dead flesh’ of another, it would not profit anything. We are body and soul. The body is ‘dead flesh’ unless it is animated by the Spirit. The Spirit is eternal.

BUT Christ is not simply ‘man’. He is God made man. HIS Flesh and Spirit are eternal. HIS Flesh and Spirit are perfectly combined. HIS Body is eternal as is His Spirit. So eating HIS Flesh (and Spirit); Body and Blood, Soul/Spirit and Divinity, is indeed what gives us life.

Can you give any other explanation which not only fits the fact that Christ spoke of eating HIS body and blood (not just 'anybody’s flesh), fits the fact that the Christian Church taught we eat His Body and Blood in order to have eternal life, fits the fact that Christ became man (why become a man if your ‘body’ meant nothing???), and makes perfect sense?


Oh, but it does…The point the St. Was making is that while flesh is worldly, Christ’s flesh is not…without contradicting the fact that His flesh is real flesh…just as bread and wine are indeed bread and wine, but also His body and blood at the same time.


I found a meaning which is profitable (see above).

So tell me, if history and Church authority teach something that is true, am I to reject it?

God is our creator. You agree, right? How do you know? Hasn’t He revealed Himself to us throughout history? As a Christian, you respect the authority of the Bible, right? So, you’ll say that God is our Creator as shown through His revelations throughout history and by the authority of Scripture, right?


Looking forward to continuing this tomorrow. Time to rest --tomorrow will be another busy day!




Just as I view John 3 as a teaching on the sacrament of Baptism, I view John 6 as a teaching on the sacrament of the Eucharist. Forms of the word eucharist appear earlier in John 6:11, 23, as forms of the word *baptism *appear in John 3:22,23,26. So, I view John 6:63 in the context of the sacrament of the Eucharist. However, I think the theme of John 6:63 actually applies to all the sacraments.

When Jesus says, “It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is unprofitable,” I think he means, “It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh,* without the spirit*, is *spiritually *unprofitable.” In this case, “the spirit” refers to gifts of the Holy Spirit that are spiritually discerned, i.e., discerned by faith, as in 1 Corinthians 2:14. And, “the flesh” refers to things of the visible world, as in Romans 8:1-17.

The sacraments have a visible sign or “flesh” component and a corresponding, invisible, spiritually-significant action of the Holy Spirit. The visible sign or “flesh” component of the sacrament, without the corresponding action of the Holy Spirit, is spiritually unprofitable. For instance, the water bath of the sacrament of Baptism, apart from the spiritually-regenerating action of the Holy Spirit, is spiritually unprofitable and merely gets a person wet. Similarly, the bread and wine of sacrament of the Eucharist, apart from the transubstantiating action of the Holy Spirit whereby they are transubstantiated into the body and blood of Jesus, is spiritually unprofitable and merely affords a person a bit of bread and wine.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.