Saturday, May 25, 2013

If you do not eat of the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood . . .

. . . then you will not have life within you."  Jesus speaking in John 6:53

Continuing from the previous post, I do not understand how Biblical Christians can accept the teaching from their ancestral and current pastoral leaders that Jesus did not clearly, and literally teach and institute the Sacrament of himself hidden in the signs of the bread and wine.

Especially when you read this verse in context. 

John 6
51 "I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh." 52 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" 53 So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, (or Solemnly) I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; 54 he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 57 As I, who am sent by the living Father, myself draw life from the Father, so whoever eats me will draw life from me.  58 This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live for ever."

Jesus tells us that we need to eat his own flesh as food so that we might enter into that divine life shared between Him and the living Father.  Without eating the flesh of Jesus and drinking his blood we remain men and women without the life of God within us.

Question:  How many times during this teaching in John chapter 6 does Jesus mention that his flesh is to be eaten and his blood to be drunk by those who wish to have eternal life, and in verse 55,  to have Jesus abide in him and Jesus in him?

Answer Seven times

None of his disciples thought he was speaking using poetic imagery.  We find out in the verses that follow that some could not accept this.  They did not forsee that Jesus would give us his very flesh to eat and blood to drink in an unbloody sacrifice instituted at the Last Supper, forever memorializing his precious blood being poured out for us from the cross.

In verse 60 we learn what some of his followers thought of this teaching, "This is intolerable language.  How could anyone accept it?"

65 And he (Jesus the Son of God) said, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father." 66 After this many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him. 67 Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also wish to go away?" 68 Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; 69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God."
We know that the Jewish leaders at the time of Jesus's resurrection paid off those guards who were sleeping while charged with guarding Jesus's tomb.  Then they began spreading the rumor that his disciples had stolen the body so as to suppress the eyewitness accounts of Jesus appearing to the women and the disciples after his resurrection.
How is this not analagous to what has happened to the decendants of the Protestant Reformation?  Martin Luther taught the real presence.  But then someone in Switzerland, Ulrich Zwingli, began teaching the presence was symbolic.  John Calvin succeeded him and he taught that the presence was dynamic - when communion was received by "the elect" then the presence of Jesus was present with the bread and wine.
None of this is Biblical.  What an amazing irony.  If you are Protestant, please pray and please seek to find if this veiling of the truth by the Reformers was not heretical, and depriving you of the great act of love of the Savior to be united with you in Holy Communion that you might dwell in Him, and he in you, and where he is, so too is the Father and the Holy Spirit. Please research the articles at The Coming Home Network and Patrick Madrid's article, "Where is that in the Bible?: The Eucharist".
What a tragedy so many Catholics who have received Jesus in Holy Communion leave the Church when they are taught errors by those who propagate these errors.  What a tragedy that parents who prize the photographic moments of Holy Communion do not bother to carry out Jesus's command to the Apostles and also to us at the Last Supper . . . . "Do this in memory of me."  Many children are not brought to receive Jesus on Sundays and Holy Days and they grow up adopting their parents example and attitude that it isn't necessarily Jesus's command.  It is most certainly not optional but an affront to the Savior, in my discernment.  Attending Holy Mass or Divine Liturgy is our response of love, obedience and gratitude to the Son of God.  God forbid anyone would have their eyes so blinded by this world as to view the remembrance and worship of Jesus as an optional way of celebrating a beautiful holiday like Christmas, Easter, or a wedding or commemorating someone's funeral.
If you are Catholic, please pray that the Father would draw you to his Son and increase you faith, devotion, and tender love and gratitude for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.
Thank you Lord Jesus, for the gift of yourself in the Holy Sacrament of the altar (not the table). 
Father please continue to draw me and all those who you will to encounter and believe and offer love and gratitude to your Son for his great gift of his flesh for us to eat and his blood for us to drink that we might have the divine life of the Trinity present within us.  In Jesus Name, your Beloved Son, our Savior, Amen.
The Gospel Accounts of the Last Supper
 26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is my body." 27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, "Drink of it, all of you; 28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins." (Matthew 26:26-28)
22 And as they were eating, he took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them, and said, "Take; this is my body." 23 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. 24 And he said to them, "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.”  (Mark 14:22-24)
19 And he took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me." 20 And likewise the cup after supper, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” (Luke 22:19-20)
23 Jesus answered him, "If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 He who does not love me does not keep my words; and the word which you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me. 25 "These things I have spoken to you, while I am still with you. 26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be consecrated in truth. 20 "I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me." (John 14:23-26,15:4-5,17:20-21)
It was interesting that John's Gospel, while having the most compelling teaching of Jesus in chapter 6 does not parallel the synoptic Gospels account of the institution of the Eucharist. Some Biblical scholars explain that this is because the celebration of Holy Eucharist was already well-established by the time John's Gospel was written.
Words of Consecration in the Roman Catholic Canon
Institution Narrative (recalling the words and actions of Jesus at the Last Supper; see Mark 14:22-24; Matt 26:26-28; Luke 22:19-20; 1 Cor 11:23-25):
On the day before he was to suffer he took bread in his holy and venerable hands, and with eyes raised to heaven to you, O God, his almighty Father, giving you thanks he said the blessing, broke the bread and gave it to his disciples, saying:
In a similar way, when supper was ended, he took this precious chalice in his holy and venerable hands, and once more giving you thanks, he said the blessing and gave the chalice to his disciples, saying:
Words of Consecration in the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom
"You so loved Your world as to give Your only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life.  After He had come and fulfilled the whole divine plan for our sake, on the night He was given over--or, rather, gave Himself for the life of the world--He took bread into His holy, most pure and immaculate hands, gave thanks, blessed, sanctified and broke it; He gave it to his holy disciples and apostles, saying:
Take, eat:  This is my body, which is broken for you for the forgiveness of sins.
In like manner the cup after the supper, saying: 
Drink of it, all of you.  This is my blood of the New Covenant, which is poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.

Notice the Congruence between John 6:55, Matthew 26:26-28, Mark 14:22-24, Luke 22:19-20, and the Words of Consecration.
Jesus says this is my body and this is my blood.  The priests also say this is my body and this is my blood.

No mention of symbolism, or mystical presence, or being there with the bread and wine. 

The Catechism of the Catholic Church:
1376 The Council of Trent summarizes the Catholic faith by declaring: "Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly his body that he was offering under the species of bread, it has always been the conviction of the Church of God, and this holy Council now declares again, that by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation."

St. Paul summarized it similarly in 1 Corinthians 11:23-29

23 For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread,24and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, This is my body that is for* you. Do this in remembrance of me.25In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying,This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’26For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be answerable for the body and blood of the Lord.28Examine yourselves, and only then eat of the bread and drink of the cup.29For all who eat and drink* without discerning the body,* eat and drink judgement against themselves.


  1. Ahh - how nice to see your blog contents. I had been checking in here for weeks (many weeks) only to find no blog... just your background of blue and the title Inadequate Disciple. Was I the only one to have this problem? Anyway, I am so glad to be able to get this once again.. and it looks like I have some catching up to do in reading! A lovely thing to do!!! God bless..

  2. Colleen, thank you so much for this in-depth teaching on Our Lord's Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist. How pleased He must be with your efforts! I so wish our Protestant brothers and sisters would also realize how the Eucharist is pre-figured in the Old the manna in the desert, the Passover lamb, in Malachi 1:11, etc.

    I don't know how anyone can dispute John 6, especially in light of the first 1500 years of Christianity...and even Luther. How lost one becomes when they leave the Church entrusted with the keys. What great sadness for Our Lord Who prayed that "all may be one.." And now, who can count the denominations out there?

  3. Still having trouble getting your blog contents to show up, but I was finally able to find something here again after several repeated tries in a row. Now to read fast before it disappears again! I do hope I'm the only one having this crazy difficulty.