It is clear, from this passage alone — John 6:52-59 — that eating His holy human flesh and blood was like bread and wine, and Jesus put a condition on it. What was the condition, one may ask? The condition was he who eats of My flesh and blood would get into heaven above to see the Holy Father. Let us take a look at the verses:
“The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.”
(John 6:52-59 KJV)
This passage has the power to turn people away from Jesus Christ, including the group of Jewish men He just miraculously fed. Therefore, let us start at the beginning of chapter 6. The reason why thousands of Jews were there in Jerusalem was because of the Passover where the Jews knew to go to Jerusalem because of the Passover (audio portion of Cold-Case Christianity * just click it * by J. Warner Wallace). Here is the beginning of John 6:
“After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias. And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased. And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples. And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh. When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little. One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, saith unto him, There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many? And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten. Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world. When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.”
(John 6:1-15 KJV)
See, the Passover was that Saturday and the crowds of Jewish men, coming from all over the place — those in and around Jerusalem including those way outside Jerusalem— could see their excitement as they wanted to make Jesus Christ their King. After all, they have been waiting for this to happen since the time of Moses and the Israelites. Yet, Jesus knew this, and thus made an escape further up the mountain for the night by Himself.
And His 12 disciples, when evening was come, went down toward the sea that was just outside Tiberius, to go fishing toward Capernaum — which was equal to 10.19 km (6.33 miles or 5.5 nautical miles). It was some time during the night that Jesus descended from the mount and met up with His 12 disciples by walking on the sea to them. This terrified His disciples as it was night. And His 12 disciples — there in the middle of the sea — was unsure of who it was from a distance, but as Jesus kept walking on the water, they grew more terrified as they never seen Jesus do this before. And as Jesus grew closer, they must have grown amazed by Jesus’ ability to walk on water. Jesus, in a way of reconfirming, says this, “It is I; be not afraid” (John 6:20b). His disciples must have been in awe. In Matthew’s account, it gives a little bit more detail:
“And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.”
(Matthew 14:22-33 KJV)
“The day following, when the people which stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was none other boat there, save that one whereinto his disciples were entered, and that Jesus went not with his disciples into the boat, but that his disciples were gone away alone; (howbeit there came other boats from Tiberias nigh unto the place where they did eat bread, after that the Lord had given thanks) when the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus. And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither? Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work? Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”
(John 6:22-40 KJV)
This must have been something for everyone of the Jews to see, for this was the Passover week. And Jesus correctly calls them out on it — “Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.”
They still doubted Him as the One who came down from heaven, for doubt has the opposite effect as faith — “Faith is the hope of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). But rather, let us take a look at John 6:30-33 —
“They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work? Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.”
(John 6:30-33 KJV)
You could see their exasperation as they were wondering what to do with this Man — the One to whom the common Jews were going to make their King and stop all of their “suffering” under Roman law — as they cried:
“Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread” (34 KJV).
And true to form, Jesus says this:
“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”
(John 6:35-40 KJV)
The Jews (the ones that took part in the feeding of the 5,000 men, not including women and children according to Matthew) muttered at Jesus since Jesus said that He was the bread that came down from heaven, saying Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? And He said that He came down from heaven (41-42). Now the attitude of the Jews was beginning to change as Jesus answered the same group of Jews who wanted to make Him King but now were having second thoughts (43a):
“Murmur not among yourselves. No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. 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 6:43b-51 KJV)
This was all what preceded John 6:52-59. Now most of Jesus’ closest disciples stayed with Him after He said this, but some of His casual disciples, who think that if they go to the Synagogue each Saturday (or church each Sunday) no longer followed Him. Let me give you Scripture to verify.
“Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.”
(John 6:60-66 KJV)
So I am not talking about physical cannibalism of Jesus’s body. NO. However am I talking about spiritual cannibalism of Jesus’s body? YES, most definitely.
So, this leaves the proverbial ball in your court. What are you going to do? Be a sold-out Christian who takes God’s command of people He saves seriously by taking up the cross in which each one of us has to bear? (Luke 9:23-25). Or be a casual Christian not looking out at current times and discerning it through God’s Word but immersing yourselves on social media with just a little bit of “Jesus” thrown into your posts in order to keep in the fold of Christianity just like John 6:66 says? It is interesting that 666 is the same number as that verse. Interesting, indeed. 🤔
And I just love how Scripture interprets Scripture. You have to apply the Word of God to yourself, though. And it may take years upon years upon years till the Holy Spirit reveals it to you. Christianity isn’t a bunch of quick fixes but a marathon.
~ Darren L Beattie, The Soul Blogger of TrueLifeChristianity.com ~