John 6:53-59 – Lesson #70

Jesus had identified Himself as the bread of life and said; “If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever” (6:51). The Jews began to argue about what Jesus could mean by this bold statement. Other religions of the day talked about eating of the gods when they ate a portion of the sacrifice, but “How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?” (v. 52). Rather than ease their concerns, Jesus pressed His analogy to its full conclusion.

John 6:53-59
“Then Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, 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 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 My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down from heaven – not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever.’ These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum.”

Talking about drinking blood did nothing to calm the tension. The Jews were strictly forbidden from eating anything with blood; “I will set My face against that person who eats blood, and will cut him off from among his people” (Leviticus 17:10). But when God warned about the blood, He also explained why: “For the life of the flesh is in the blood… it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul” (Leviticus 17:11). God had established a sacrificial system which pointed to Jesus as the final sacrifice and the source of true life.

Jesus didn’t say He was the way to a better life, but that without Him there was NO life. We may be able to walk and breath, raise a family and go to work, but if we do not eat His flesh and drink His blood we have no life. Earlier Jesus said; “he who believes in Me has everlasting life” (v. 47). By relating eating and drinking to eternal life, Jesus was explaining “believes in Me.” Belief is more than an intellectual understanding; it is a consumption, a filling, a
sustaining, a belief that Jesus is ALL – the ONLY source of life.

Jesus further defined true life as abiding in Him. Jesus would speak similar words to His disciples on the night before He was crucified; “He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). The reason we can do nothing apart from abiding in Christ is that we are dead! We may think we are living and accomplishing something great – but without Christ we are dead.

This synagogue discussion has been increasingly forceful and left no room for misunderstanding. They may not yet have understood about His sacrifice on the cross, but His claim of being sent by God as the Greater Moses who would restore true life to the nation was clear. Jesus claimed to be the only source of life – eternal life for all who believe. This life can never be achieved by looking or working for worldly manna, it can only be received as a gift through abiding in Christ. He is our life! Let’s eat and drink, enter in, and live.

Have a Great Day!

Steve Troxel
God’s Daily Word Ministries