John 6:54

Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

Context

Surrounding Verses

Jesus is speaking to the Jews from his hometown and the dialog is rife with culinary metaphors and miracles. Jesus had just fed the 5,000. People now wanted additional miracles such as manna from heaven. And Jesus was explaining to them that not only is he the manna from Heaven, but is also much more satisfying, for whosoever "eats of his flesh" and "drinks his blood" will never hunger again. The hunger he describes is a spiritual hunger, and therefore the "food" and "drink" are also spiritual.

Chapter

John-chapter-6

Book

John

Scripture (According to Fundamental Baptist Understanding)

Communion is an ordinance of the church, symbolizing your communion with Christ, and not necessary for salvation. Jesus' "flesh and blood" are also symbolic, and not his actual body.

Commentary in light of context

Jesus' flesh and blood are clearly meant to be taken metaphorically. Interpreting this as literal flesh and blood is actually the exact mistake the audience made as evidenced by their question, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" Jesus provided the interpretation of this saying before actually saying it in John 6:35:

He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes on Me shall never thirst.

The "flesh" is coming to Jesus, and the "blood" is believing on him.

The disciples were also rebuked for thinking that this should be taken literally. His answer to them when they complained that his sayings were too harsh in 63 is, "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. " In other words, the literal flesh has no value, but the words of Jesus are what give life.

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