With scripture, we absolutely prove (100%) that Jesus was “not” speaking symbolically in the Bread of Life Discourse – John Chapter 6:22-71
This free educational website is about helping people seek truth in one of the most important teachings in the Holy Bible, the Bread of Life Discourse in the Gospel of John chapter 6. Jesus referred to “eternal life” more in this discourse than any other chapter in the New Testament.
The human “barriers” that limit our ability to comprehend are massive! There are many biblical teachings that we just cannot comprehend. For example, how does God dwell within us? How was Jesus resurrected? Or, how was Jesus born from a virgin birth? These supernatural teachings require one to believe “beyond” what one can comprehend.
The Bread of Life Discourse teachings demand followers of Christ to believe like children, beyond scientific understanding and laws of nature. Believing in God beyond the “barriers” of human comprehension, trusting in God completely.
The discourse was preached at the synagogue in Capernaum. Jesus was roughly two years into his earthly ministry and there were “many” disciples that followed him. Throughout his ministry, Jesus promised eternal life to faithful and obedient disciples. These disciples gave up their “way of life” to follow Jesus.
Something big happened during the discourse that shook the faith of many disciples. Abruptly at the end of the discourse, many disciples left Jesus and returned to their former way of life, no longer accompanying him. 66
John 6:66 is the very first recorded Christian apostasy. Why did these disciples leave?
TABLE OF CONTENT – QUICK 20 MINUTE READ
- Setting the stage – 10 key points
- Old Testament foreshadow; Passover and the Manna in the Desert
- Who were “the crowd?” They were “not” disciples
- New teachings from Jesus; disciples never heard Jesus speak this way before
- Many disciples gave up their “way of life” to follow Jesus
- Something big happened during the Bread of Life Discourse that shook the faith of many disciples
- Disturbing and incomprehensible teachings are “hard to believe”
- The truth about verse 63; “the spirit” vs. “the flesh,” taught many times in the New Testament
- Jesus allowed many disciples to leave him; no compromise
- Faith without limits. Supernatural faith vs. natural faith
- A miraculous virgin birth formed the flesh and blood of Jesus. “From a miracle comes a miracle”
- Life of all flesh is in its blood
SETTING THE STAGE – 10 KEY POINTS
1. This is about eternal life!
Jesus referred to eternal life 13 times in the Bread of Life Discourse, more than any other chapter in the New Testament.
2. According to the Holy Bible, these were “disciples” that left Jesus and returned to their former way of life, no longer accompanying him. John 6:66
3. Jesus connected this apostasy to Judas’ betrayal.
4. Disciples in scripture were believers and followers of Jesus. Scripture defined “the crowd” as non-believers. Non-disciples. 30,36
5. There were three groups of people that traveled to Capernaum; non-disciples (the crowd); 12 disciples; and the other disciples.
6. The disciples were already taught about the requirements to obtain eternal life, which was (is) to believe in Jesus and obey his commands. John chapter 3 & 5
Jesus “coming down from heaven” was not a new teaching. (Jn 3&5) It was however new to those who did not follow him.
7. Just hours before the Bread of Life Discourse, Jesus performed two miracles. The multiplication of loaves and walking on water. How these two events happened are incomprehensible; supernatural events.
8. The Bread of Life Discourse teachings were the greatest biblical “test of faith” for so “many” disciples.
9. Key point about John 6:63
The true interpretation of the resurrection is that both the “flesh” and the “spirit” of Jesus conquered death. His flesh profiteth life!
10. The Bread of Life Discourse took place roughly one year before the Last Supper. Jesus was about two years into his earthly ministry.
OLD TESTAMENT FORESHADOW
Jesus himself chose the time of when to present the Bread of Life Discourse teachings. What are the odds that this discourse (along with the Last Supper, one year later) would fall so close to the annual celebration of Passover. The probability that Jesus did this on “accident” is roughly “one percent.” Meaning, “math” says Jesus did this on purpose. The Lord could have chosen any other week or month out of the year.
The Passover was near (John 6:4). The Israelites not only had to sacrifice the lamb, but had to eat the flesh of the lamb to be in covenant with God. Exodus 12
In the Book of Exodus, three main commands were given by God to the Israelites in order for firstborn children to be saved:
First: Sacrifice the lamb. Second: Apply blood of lamb to doorposts and lintel of house where flesh will be consumed. Third: Eat flesh of lamb.
The mark of blood was “only” allowed on houses where flesh of lambs would be consumed. Flesh could not be taken outside the house. 7,46
If the Israelites sacrificed the lamb but “did not” apply blood and eat the flesh, death “would have” entered the house. Exodus 12
It was “real” flesh eaten and real blood that “saved.” Not a symbol of a lamb.
Jesus is the “Lamb of God”
Your lamb must be a year old male and without blemish. Exodus 12:5
But with the precious blood of Christ as of a spotless unblemished lamb. 1 Peter 1:19
You shall not break any of its bones. Exodus 12:46.
For this happened so that the scripture passage might be fulfilled:
“Not a bone of it will be broken.” John 19:36
For our paschal lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed. 1 Cor 5:7
Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world. John 1:29
They will fight with the Lamb, but the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and king of kings, and those with him are called, chosen, and faithful. Rev 17:14
Blessed are those who have been called to the wedding feast of the Lamb. Rev 19:9
God commanded the Passover Sacrifice to be practiced by every generation, “forever.” Exodus 12
Old Manna vs. New Manna
Jesus as the New Moses
Pharaoh killed all male babies and only Moses was saved. (Exodus 1-2) Herod killed all male babies and only Jesus was saved. Matt 2:16
Moses did not eat or drink for forty days and forty nights. (Exodus 34:28) Jesus did not eat or drink for forty days and forty nights. Matt 4:2
Through blood, Moses was the mediator of the old covenant. (Exodus 24:8) Through blood, Jesus is the mediator of the new covenant. Heb 12:24
The laws of the Ten Commandments were received by Moses on a mountain, Mount Sinai. Jesus delivered the Beatitudes on a mountain, Sermon on the Mount.
Moses is considered the greatest teacher in the Old Testament. Jesus is considered the greatest teacher in the New Testament.
The bread was “not” symbolic. It was “supernatural” bread and miraculous gifts from God to feed the Israelites in the desert. Exodus 16
The Old Exodus set free the Israelites from slavery; 12 Tribes of Israel were led by Moses to the promised land.
Directly from heaven, “Manna” in the morning and “Flesh” in the evening. 8
The Jews complained, murmured.
The old manna was eaten and sustained physical life.
Manna was placed in a golden vessel in the tabernacle. 33; Heb 9:4
Jesus is referred to as the “New Moses” in the Gospels of the New Testament.
The New Exodus sets free humanity from slavery; sin and death. 12 apostles were led by Jesus to the promised land.
The Jews were anticipating someone greater than Moses to come; and do something “greater.” So they requested manna “always.” Not just for 40 years, but forever so they can satisfy their physical bodies. John 6:34
The Jews complained, murmured.
Directly from heaven, “eat” of the new manna and you will not die:
Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may “eat” it and not die. 49,50
New manna is supernatural and miraculous gifts from God:
The bread is his flesh. (51) This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever. 58
The new manna is eaten and sustains life forever.
Jesus begins (49) and ends (58) his difficult new teachings connecting the “old manna” that was eaten (still died) with the “new manna,” that has to be eaten (eternal life).
The new manna is just a “symbol” from the New Moses?
If the old manna was miraculous supernatural bread from heaven rained down daily from God for 40 years to sustain life, the new manna is just a symbol?
If the “Bread of Life” is symbolic, that would make the old manna “greater” than the new manna, for a symbol is not supernatural and a symbol is not from heaven. The reference of bread would just be a symbol of Jesus, not supernatural and literally from heaven like the old manna.
WHO WERE “THE CROWD?”
In John chapter 6, some believe the “other” disciples were “part of the crowd”
This is not true.
Understanding who the crowd was helps set the stage for a correct biblical interpretation of the Bread of Life Discourse.
When the word “disciples” is mentioned in the Bible, sometimes it is “not” very clear on whether scripture is referring to the “twelve disciples” or to “all disciples.” By logically analyzing John chapter 6 however, we can figure out “who” scripture is referring to.
Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his “disciples.” 3
The crowd reclined on the grass. 10
We know Jesus had “many” disciples that followed him during this point and time of his ministry, in addition to the twelve. 60
We know there were “other very faithful disciples” that accompanied Jesus and the twelve during the Lord’s “entire” earthly ministry, according to scripture. Acts 1:21-23
Massive crowd to feed
5000 men is a massive crowd!
Most biblical scholars however believe the size of the crowd during the “Multiplication of Loaves” was more like 10 to 15 thousand people since scripture did “not” include women and children in the count, who were there. Matt 14:21
As “evening” was near, Jesus requested help from his disciples to distribute the massive piles of bread and fish to the crowd. Imagine the “size” of those piles of food that would feed that many people. We’re talking about a large stadium size crowd of people! According to Jesus, the crowd had as much as they wanted.
This massive crowd was told to “sit down” on the grass in groups (Mark 6:39) and the disciples were ordered to distribute the food to crowd (Mark: 6:41; Luke 9:16; Matt 14:19) and clean up the leftovers (John: 6:12).
Would “only” the twelve disciples be called on to serve such a large crowd?
The “twelve” had to do all the work?
Does this make sense? The twelve “senior” apostles had to do “all the work” while the other disciples were in the crowd, reclining on the grass and eating until they were full?
Visualize the size of the crowd and the amount of food. That’s a lot of work for twelve people! With little help and evening near, would anything get done?
1 disciple to every ~ 1000 persons
We’re talking thousands of loaves of bread and thousands of fish!
One of the “biggest” qualities of discipleship that Jesus taught was about “serving people,” not being served! This foundational teaching of “serving others” and putting others first is in “hundreds of verses” thoughout the New Testament.
This interpretation that the “other disciples” were “part of the crowd” and therefore did not participate with serving the crowd contradicts the Lord’s teachings and it does not make logical sense. Furthermore and “most importantly,” the crowd lacked faith in Jesus…
Disciples were believers and followers of Jesus, according to scripture. Before any difficult and disturbing new teachings were taught, the crowd lacked faith in Jesus.
They did not believe in Jesus, according to Holy Scripture:
- So they said to him, “What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you? What can you do?” 30
- Jesus said to them, “but I told you that although you have seen me, you do not believe.” 36
- The Lord defined the crowd as sheep “without” a shepherd. (Mark 6:34) How can a sheep have faith if there is no shepherd? Can a sheep without a shepherd be a Disciple of Christ? No!
It is evident from scripture that the crowd were not disciples.
Verse 22 through 59 was a discussion between the crowd and Jesus with regard to his new teachings. And yes, Jesus was teaching. 59
The disciples were “listening” during the Bread of Life Discourse. The only disciple that spoke was St. Peter at the end of the discourse. 68,69
It wasn’t until Jesus shifted the conversation “directly” to his disciples after “reading many thoughts of disbelief” from his disciples, following his difficult and disturbing new teachings. 60,61
Jesus would “not” reject or lose them, if they believed
God is “all knowing;” omniscient. Jesus knew that many disciples would leave him that day. So, before the difficult new teachings, Jesus explained to the “crowd” of “non-believers” that he would not reject or lose anyone that comes to him unless they were not granted by his Father’s will. 37-39.
Jesus then explained the Father’s will in verse 40:
For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and “believes” in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him on the last day.
If Jesus lost or rejected a disciple that “believed in him,” he would not have obeyed the Father’s will.
New teachings from Jesus in the Bread of Life Discourse
- Jesus referred to himself as bread 10 times in the Bread of Life Discourse.
- Jesus is the “Bread of Life” (35,48). This bread gives life to the world. 33
- Ancestors ate manna in the desert, but died. Eat this bread and you will not die. 49,50
- The bread is his flesh. 51
- If you don’t eat his flesh and drink his blood, you will not have life within you. 53
- Whoever eats his flesh and drinks his blood has eternal life. 54
- His flesh is true food and blood, true drink. 55
- The one who feeds on him will have life because of him. 57
- Unlike ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever. 58
- Whoever eats this bread will live forever. 50, 51, 58
The disciples never heard Jesus speak this way before
He wants us to eat his flesh and drink his blood, and somehow bread becomes his flesh???
Four times scripture reveals “lack of faith” in the new teachings:
1. How can this man “give us” his flesh to eat? 52
2. This saying is hard; who can accept it? 60
3. Jesus said, “but there are some of you who do not believe.” 64
4. As a result of this, many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him. 66
DISCIPLES – WAY OF LIFE
Many Disciples Followed
Several times in scripture, Jesus told people to “follow” him if they wanted to be his disciple. In Greek, the word “Akoloutheo” was used for follow which means to accompany, to join and attend, to literally walk with him.
Very “early on” in his ministry, Jesus had other disciples (in addition to the twelve) that followed him. These other disciples accompanied Jesus the “whole time” during his earthly ministry. Acts 1:21-23
The day of the discourse, Jesus was roughly “two years” (2/3) into his earthly ministry and there were “many” disciples that followed him, according to scripture. John 6:60
Following Jesus did not just mean, walking with him and learning. Jesus was “preparing” his disciples for missionary work as we can see from Luke Chapter 10. After the discourse, Jesus assigned missionary work to 72 faithful disciples, which included traveling from town to town preaching, driving out demons, healing the sick, etc.
Whoever listened to these disciples, listened to the Lord. Whoever rejected these disciples, rejected the Lord. Luke 10:16
Upon returning from their mission rejoicing, Jesus said to his disciples, I have observed Satan fall like lightning from the sky. 18
Jesus gave these disciples “full power over the enemy.” Their names are written in heaven. 19,20
Conditions of Discipleship
Jesus was (is) a tough coach! The conditions were “not” easy for the disciples.
His disciple said to him, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.” But Jesus answered him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their dead.” Matt 8:21-22
And another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but first let me say farewell to my family at home.” Jesus said, “No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:61-62
Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Matt 10:37
Jesus commanded his disciples to renounce their possessions, deny themselves, pick up their cross daily and follow him. Matt 10:38, Luke 9:23; Luke 14:25-33
Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:27
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. Matt 10:39
Commitment and Belief
The Conditions of Discipleship were mandates for all disciples, not just the twelve.
The Gospels of the New Testament clearly define the playbook of discipleship, and it was not easy back then! You could not just Uber or GPS it over to Jesus for Sunday church service. And Jesus did not stay in one location.
It is estimated that Jesus traveled over three thousand miles during his earthly ministry, and he called on his disciples to follow him daily…
Many disciples gave up their “way of life” to follow Jesus.
Strengthening of Faith
The disciples did have the luxury of speaking to and learning directly from Jesus, and witnessed miracles to help strengthen their faith.
In front of his disciples, just hours before the discourse, Jesus performed an unbelievable incomprehensible supernatural miracle of creating bread and fish “out of nothing” to feed over 5,000 people!
This definitely strengthened the disciples’ faith even more!
Just imagine that supernatural event for a moment! You’ve given up your way of life to follow and accompany Jesus, and then he performs this miracle. Talk about encouragement and a strengthening of faith that day!
Jesus was preparing the disciples for very difficult incomprehensible supernatural teachings that would be taught the next day.
SOMETHING BIG HAPPENED!
Whoever “believes” in the Son has eternal life (John 3:36).
The disciples accompanied and followed Jesus over a promise of eternal life, if they believed. Believe means to “accept as truth.” Difficult and disturbing “new teachings” however took place that shook the faith of many disciples.
Jesus “surprised” his disciples with new strange teachings that were not only disturbing, but forbidden, like drinking blood.
Angry arguments broke out at the Bread of Life Discourse.
Over a metaphor or symbolism? No way!
The Jews quarreled (heated arguments) among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” John 6:52
This was not a casual argument. Many people were upset and disturbed at the Lord’s surprising language.
Jesus gave a “forbidden” ultimatum
While many were “upset” during the discourse, instead of “rectifying a misunderstanding,” Jesus “raised the bar” even higher by giving an ultimatum that included drinking his blood:
Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.” 53
Jesus then intensified his vivid “literal” imagery
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true (alethes) food, and my blood is true (alethes) drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever. 54-58
The Greek word alethes means “real” or “truly” and would only be used against someone doubting; lacking belief, like the Jews in verse 52.
Alethes is mentioned several times in the New Testament and is “always” used to describe the true meaning of something; literal. It is never used to describe something unreal or symbolic.
The Lord emphasized the miracle that his body and blood is truthfully, food and drink.
The word “eat” in Greek graphically intensified
After the Jews expressed anger, Jesus graphically intensified the word “eat” from phago (to eat, consume; verse 51) to trogo – chew on, gnaw on, rip apart. 54,56,58
HARD TO BELIEVE
Then many disciples that were listening said, this saying is hard; who can accept it? 60
Is a symbolic teaching hard to accept? No!
After giving up their way of life to follow Jesus, many disciples chose to not believe.
Does this shock you?
Verses 61: Jesus had another opportunity to correct a “misunderstanding.” Instead Jesus said to his disciples, “does this shock (offend) you?”
Is there “anything” shocking or offensive about a symbolic teaching? No!
What was shocking, difficult, disturbing to the human mind, and incomprehensible was Jesus speaking literally!
Fly to Heaven
Even after the miracles Jesus performed, many disciples were in such “disbelief” that Jesus had to make a statement to legitimize himself that he is the Son of God and can do anything, like ascend to heaven.
Verse 62: What if you see the son of man ascend to where he was before?
Is ascending to heaven incomprehensible, supernatural? YES
So is bread becoming literal flesh!
It is of the miraculous; it’s supernatural.
Jesus is saying, these new teachings are incomprehensible and difficult for the human mind. It requires 100% faith!
THE TRUTH ABOUT VERSE 63
Let’s analyze John 6:63…
Verse 63: It is “the spirit” that gives life, while “the flesh” is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.
Some believe the word “spirit” in verse 63 proves that Jesus was speaking symbolically.
They also believe Jesus was referring to “his flesh” when he said, “the flesh is of no avail” – no help or benefit.
According to scripture, the term “the spirit” represents being united with God. The term “the flesh” represents human nature separated from God, due to sin.
This is taught many times in the New Testament. Here are a couple verses…
- Jesus said, “the spirit” is willing, but “the flesh” is weak. Matt 26:41
- The concern of “the flesh” is death, but the concern of “the spirit” is life and peace. For the concern of “the flesh” is hostility toward God; it does not submit to the law of God, nor can it; and those who are in “the flesh” cannot please God. Rom 8:5-8
- Now the works of “the flesh” are obvious: immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds,… Gal 5:19-21
- In contrast, the fruit of “the Spirit” is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness,… Gal 5:22
- Because the one who sows for his flesh will reap corruption from “the flesh,” but the one who sows for “the spirit” will reap eternal life from “the spirit.” Gal 6:8
- For if you live according to “the flesh,” you will die, but if by “the spirit” you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. Rom 8:13…
Scripture “clearly” defines “the spirit” vs. “the flesh.”
Jesus did not say “my flesh.” He said “the flesh.” He was obviously “not” referring to his physical holy and sinless flesh.
The flesh and blood of Jesus conquered death. It counts for everything!
Spirit & Life
The Holy Bible states, “the flesh” is about sin, death,… destruction. “The spirit” is about love, peace, faithfulness,… eternal life. The words that Jesus just spoke (verses 48-58) are for the spirit, which gives life.
What are the words he just spoke that would be considered spirit and life? From his own words, “whoever eats this bread will live forever.” (51,58) What lives forever? What could Jesus be referring to since our “current” physical mortal bodies do “not” live forever?
He can “only” be referring to our spirit.
These new difficult teachings are for your spirit. Jesus does “not” feed your flesh, for it withers away and dies due to sin. He feeds your spirit with the very substance that rose from the dead, his body and blood.
Furthermore, only your spirit can be faithful to God, according to scripture. It is only from your spirit that you can have faith in these new teachings. The flesh is of no help or benefit.
It is your spirit that is fed, which gives life – Spirit and Life
Supernatural flesh and blood
The flesh and blood of Jesus was miraculously created from a supernatural birth. His flesh and blood was formed through the power of the Holy Spirit, by way of a virgin birth.
No other human body has “ever” been created this way. The Lord’s flesh and blood are miraculous.
It is through the supernatural body and blood of Jesus that gives life to the spirit. “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.” 54,55
THEY LEFT HIM
Before it happened, he knew…
From verse 64, Jesus knew from the “beginning” which disciples would “not believe.” Since Jesus knew the disciples that would “not believe,” then he knew “what” they would not believe.
Jesus knew “who” would leave him and he knew “why” they would leave him — all before it happened.
If our perfect God had a “misunderstanding” to correct or “clear up,” he would have done it before he taught it.
Our loving God would not mislead his disciples.
They left him
Jesus allowed many disciples that accompanied and followed him, that ate and drank with him, that traveled day and night with him, to leave him because they did not “believe” in these new teachings. 60,64,66
He obeyed the Father’s will (40) and let them go because they did not believe in his new teachings.
Jesus did not call them back
He “did not” call them back. Scripture says, they returned to their former “way of life” and “no longer” accompanied him. 66
For Jesus to allow many of his disciples to leave him, after they gave up their own way of life to follow him, shows you how “important” these teachings are to Jesus in the Bread of Life Discourse and that there was no compromise.
This took place roughly one year before the Last Supper.
Jesus put years of ministry work “on the line” for these new teachings
He then asked if the 12 apostles were going to leave!
Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?” 67
Over a metaphorical symbolic teaching?! No Way!
Have faith in God and his plan
Very little detail of how, when and why were given to the disciples at the Bread of Life Discourse.
Do you think St. Peter had all the details and could comprehend how bread can become flesh? No!
But he had “faith” in Jesus. He did not leave him:
Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.” 68,69
Come to Believe
St. Peter did “not” say, yes Lord, we understand exactly what you mean… and so we believe.
He said, we have “come to believe” and are “convinced” (egnōkamen) that you are the Holy One of God.
It was “not” through “human comprehension” that led St. Peter to believe in these new teachings, but through a strengthening of faith over time that allowed him to believe in Jesus “beyond” what he could comprehend.
St. Peter highlighted the “lack of faith” of those disciples that left
To whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe!
You apply human understanding and reasoning when possible, but supernatural teachings from God are beyond our mental capacity. Faith is the “bridge” that connects us to the supernatural. Faith connects us to God, who is supernatural.
Supernatural faith means to believe in God beyond scientific understanding and laws of nature; of the miraculous similar to the Lord’s supernatural birth and the multiplying of bread and fish; a faith from “the spirit;” a complete faith and trust in Jesus which allows you to believe in God “beyond” what you can comprehend; a faith without limits!
This faith has limits!
Each person inherits natural faith that allows you to trust earthly things, situations, etc. It is faith from “the flesh” that is confined to this world. Natural faith lacks faith in the supernatural. There is “no” bridge.
These new teachings required the disciples to have supernatural faith from “the spirit.” (63) Instead of “fully trusting” Jesus like St. Peter did, many disciples leaned on their “human comprehension” rather than faith in God, which led to their disbelief and their difficult and disturbing thoughts.
Difficult and disturbing thoughts of eating human flesh and drinking human blood go against the core of human reasoning. Through human instinct, “mental barriers” are typically applied when disturbing and unwanted thoughts go against logical human understanding. Though Jesus did state, “bread” is his “flesh” (51) and he referred to himself as bread ten different times in this discourse, the mental struggle for many is clear and obvious.
Understanding vs. Faith
Jesus challenged his disciples to “go with him” beyond their “limited” human understanding. Beyond the barriers of human comprehension. These supernatural teachings were “hard” for many disciples to believe, as scripture states (60). They were struggling mentally with his difficult and disturbing words. They could not listen to or accept them. The words that Jesus spoke offended and shocked many disciples. 61
The Jews mentally struggled as well. “How” can this man give us his flesh to eat? (52) They questioned the supernatural. How can this happen? They argued among themselves. This is impossible! How can he “give us” his flesh? The word “believe” is mentioned “nine times” in this discourse. Applying human “limited understanding” to teachings that are “beyond human comprehension” would be impossible to believe. Instead of applying human understanding, the Lord requires “faith” like St. Peter had:
“We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.” 69
Does this sound like “human understanding” or faith? If St. Peter applied human understanding to these new teachings, he would have made similar comments and asked similar questions. This is hard; how can this happen?; who can accept it?; who can believe it?
Instead, St. Peter chose “faith” over limited human understanding. He was “convinced” through faith in Jesus. Instead of applying human mental barriers, he chose the bridge. Lord, you can do anything…
You are the Holy One of God!
Many disciples did not take the bridge. They preferred “human understanding” over faith in the Lord. (60,64,66) They could “not” get over their own human mental barriers so they applied “natural faith” to their “human way of thinking,” rather than faith in Jesus who is supernatural. Since they could not comprehend these new teachings, they chose not to believe. This was the greatest biblical “test of faith” for so many disciples, and many failed. With no compromise, Jesus allowed them to leave.
Did I not choose you?
Jesus “accepted” St. Peter’s faith. Did I not choose the twelve? (70) Jesus knew one of the twelve was a devil though. (70,71) Does a devil ever have supernatural faith in Jesus? Never! Neither did Judas.
Jesus connected this apostasy to Judas’ betrayal.
Faith and Patience
As time went on, Jesus revealed more and more details to those who followed him and believed.
What was disturbing and difficult then for many disciples, with faith and patience in Jesus, would reveal over time the connective mysteries with the Last Supper, the New Passover, the Sacrificial Crucifixion and the Lord’s Redemption for humanity by rising from the dead.
It’s just like life! God reveals the details of your life a little at a time. We want to know everything now, but he requires “strong faith” and patience.
FROM A MIRACLE COMES A MIRACLE
Someone once asked me, how can bread become the flesh of Jesus and still look like bread? I asked him, how can Mary give birth to a baby without receiving human male sperm? The flesh and blood of Jesus was miraculously created from a supernatural virgin birth. From a miracle comes a miracle.
You can’t pick and choose what miracles you want to believe.
He was (is) Supernatural
We know Jesus can do anything because he is divine. Scripture shows that he could multiply, change substance and change appearance. Jesus multiplied bread and fish. He also changed substance and appearance, like water into wine. This natural food was multiplied and natural drink transformed to become supernatural food and drink.
Conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, the Lord’s physical body was supernatural. No other human body has “ever” been created this way. His supernatural body could walk on water; he had complete control over nature. His own body changed “form” two different times, according to scripture. (Matt 17:2, Mark 16:12) And there were other times his very own disciples could not recognize him.
The birth of Jesus was supernatural, which is easier to believe then eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Jesus. Many people today fall short of supernatural faith because they get caught up in their own “human difficult and disturbing thoughts,” just like the disciples did that left Jesus.
Eternal life is “literally” in the body and blood of Jesus
God always works through what he creates and it’s through his creation that we can be saved. God created flesh and blood and it’s through the “literal” flesh and blood of Jesus that saves. God proclaimed in The Book of Leviticus (17), “life of all flesh is in its blood.” Blood controls life and nourishes flesh, giving life to the physical body.
Death entered humanity due to sin. According to the Old Testament, the blood sacrifices of certain creatures were offered to God for atonement of sins. Blood represented the “life” of the animal and any consumption of blood was prohibited. In Exodus 12 for example, the blood of lambs that “physically” saved firstborn children during Passover were not consumed. Even the blood from within the flesh of lambs had to be “drained” before flesh was eaten.
One big reason the Old Testament sacrifices were not sufficient to save humanity from death was because the “life” of these animals were “not” eternal. These animals did not have the divine power to overcome death; Jesus did. (John 10:18) Therefore, “eternal life” entered time and space over two thousand years ago.
Since the “life” of Jesus is divinely eternal, the flesh and blood of the “Lamb of God” became eternal.
The forbidden Jewish law of consuming blood was superseded (like many other laws) by Jesus with his new commands. “What God has made clean, you are “not” to call profane.” (Act 10:15) According to Jesus, if you do not eat his flesh and drink his blood, you will not have life within you. (53) Eternal life is literally in the body and blood of Jesus, and the Lord commands us to partake. John 6:48-58
Divine Life to Eternal Life
Unlike your flesh that (counts for nothing) withers away and dies due to sin, eternal life is in the “body and blood” of Jesus. His whole body, which included his flesh, blood, soul and divinity, conquered death by rising from the dead.
Through God’s physical creation within time and space, by consuming the “resurrected” supernatural body and blood of Jesus (Lamb of God) during celebrations of the “New Passover,” death will “pass over” the faithful as we enter through the Lord’s divine life to eternal life.
We become the risen “Body of Christ.”
Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world. John 1:29
Blessed are those who have been called to the wedding feast of the Lamb. Rev 19:9
You are to “consume” eternal life just like Jesus stated with his very own words. His living flesh is true food and blood, true drink. John 6:55
Verse 54: “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.”
Jesus taught some very difficult teachings in the Bread of Life Discourse which many disciples chose to not believe. So Jesus allowed them to leave.
Based on scripture, the Bread of Life Discourse teachings are clearly “not” symbolic.
This chapter is about eternal life! Do your research with an open heart!
God Bless you on your journey!
New Commands Supersede The Old
The voice spoke to him again, a second time, “What God has made clean, you are “not” to call profane.” Act 10:15
The forbidden Jewish law of consuming blood was superseded by Jesus with his new commands. There are many other examples in the bible of new commands from Jesus that supersede old commands – Click here!
God the Father chose to not “draw” the disciples and that is why they left Jesus? No! Click here!
Why the disciples “did not” leave Jesus due to lack of free bread – Click here!