This chapter is so important in explaining the "true presence"
of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. Following is a verse by verse explanation.
If you will read the whole chapter, you will not find any verse to indicate
Jesus was speaking figuratively, or in parables. He was speaking literally
as the context of the chapter plainly shows.
One of the basic rules of Bible interpretation is, if something is said only once in Scripture, it might be taken figuratively, but if it is repeated three times, it is to be taken literally. Jesus repeated His message in John Chapter six, nine different ways, or nine times.
Vs 1-15, Jesus demonstrated the need to feed the body, by the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. In later verses He will show the need to feed the spiritual soul as well, with His very own Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. Just as the life of the body is in the blood, Lev 11:17, so the life of the spiritual soul is in the body and blood of Jesus Christ, John 6:54.
Vs 24-25, These verses show that Jesus was speaking to all of the people, who represent all of us and not just to the Jews, or His disciples.
Vs 32-33, Jesus said, "Amen, amen, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of GOD is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."
Note! Moses and the bread in this verse, refer to the manna in the
desert as shown in Exodus 16:14-31. The manna is a "type"
of the "antitype" of the "true bread
from heaven" which is the true Body of Christ. You can read about
"types" and "typology"
in 1Corinthians 10:1-11, Hebrews 9:9,11:19.
Never does an Old Testament "type" point to a New Testament symbol, but always to a vastly superior reality.
The word "Amen" is a Greek word (amen)
of Hebrew origin, which, at the beginning of a discourse means, "certainly",
"surely", "truly", "of a truth", "so
be it"? When used as a prefix by Jesus Christ , it is to emphasize
that it is a solemn statement, and is of utmost importance. Now, what do
you suppose He meant when He emphasized twice, by using a double "Amen",
a "Truly, truly"?
Do you "truly, truly" believe what He said in this verse? Is there any room for symbolism in these verses whatsoever?
Vs 35*, Jesus said, "...I am the
bread of life. He who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes
in Me shall never thirst."
This is the first of two verses that non-Catholics use to "prove" that Jesus was speaking figuratively for the whole chapter. "He who believes in Me shall never thirst", means to believe in what He said. If anyone denies what He said, he does not believe in Him. In order to support this belief, then they have to show that Jesus also spoke figuratively in Mt 26:26-28, Mk 14:22-24, and Lk 22:19-20, where He said "This is my Body." Also St. Paul must have spoken figuratively in 1Cor 10:16, and 1Cor 11:23-30. Yet in none of these verses is there a shred of evidence to support their belief in figurative speech. Apparently they close their eyes to 1Cor 11:29, "...for he who eats and drinks unworthily, without distinguishing the body, eats and drinks judgment to himself." How could anyone bring judgment upon himself if it is only a symbol?
Vs 43, Jesus knew they were doubting when He said, "Murmur not among yourselves."
Vs 47, Jesus said, "Amen,
amen, I say to you, he who believes in Me has life everlasting."
He told them that the ones who believe what He is saying, have everlasting life. Do you want everlasting life? Then you have to believe Him because He said it. He is truth, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life", John 14:6.
If you do not believe His words here, then you are guilty of 1John 5:10...
"He who believes in the Son of GOD has the testimony of GOD in himself. He who does not believe the Son, makes him a liar; because he does not believe the witness that GOD has borne concerning his Son.".
Vs 48, A second time Jesus said, "I am that bread of life."
Vs 49, "Your fathers ate manna in
the wilderness and they are dead."
This is because the manna was only a type, the symbol of the reality which was to come.
Vs 51, Jesus said, "I am the living
bread that came down from Heaven, if any man eat of this bread, he shall
live forever. And the bread that I will give is
my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."
Did He say the bread is a "symbol" of His flesh, or did He say it is my flesh?
Vs 52, the Jews doubt even more as they
said, "How can this man give us His flesh to eat?"
Isn't this what non-believers in the "True Presence" say today?
Vs 53, Jesus said, "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."
The very next verse 54 says that those who eat the flesh of the Son of Man, do have everlasting life. How then, can these verses be symbolic?
Interestingly, Weymouth's Modern Speech New Testament translates the first words of this verse as:
"In most solemn truth, I tell you...".
The context for this verse is the same as for the previous examples in this chapter. Here we have yet another "Truly, truly". Why do people repeat themselves at all? They do it for a purpose, in order to drive home a very important point, that is why!
What would Jesus have had to say to make his words any more clear than what He actually said? Then why do some say "Truly, truly, in this verse, He was only speaking symbolically"? If this verse is to be taken only symbolically, then the previous verses, John 6:32-33 and 6:47, must be treated in the same context, as being only a symbolic gesture also. If that is the case, then we have a domino effect working throughout Scripture. All verses with the same meaning of John 6:47, "believe in Christ and you have life everlasting", must be only symbolic as well. Some well known, and well used verses with the same, or very similar meaning are, John 3:15-16,18, 5:24, 6:40, 8:24, and 20:31, Acts 13:48, and 16:31, Romans 10:9-11,
1Timothy 1:16, and 4:10, 2Timothy 1:1, and 1John 5:13.
It is to be noted that some Protestant Bibles use the word "Verily", instead of "Amen", in the verses shown above. Verily means, "in truth", or "with confidence". However, in the Greek text the word used is Amen.
Not only do we have the double "amen" for solemn
emphasis in this verse, but we also have the keyword "unless".
Have you ever noticed that when Jesus used the word "unless", it was accompanied by a dire warning that His word must be obeyed, "Or you shall not enter the Kingdom of Heaven", or similar wording?
Matthew 5:20, "...Unless your justice exceeds that of the Scribes and the Pharisees...."
Matthew 18:3, "...Unless you turn and become like little children...."
Luke 13:3,5, "...Unless you repent...." (you will all perish).
John 3:3, "...Unless a man be born again...."
John 3:5, "...Unless a man be born again of water and the Spirit...."
John 6:53, "...Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you shall not have life in you, (implied, "no life everlasting", as shown by the very next verse, John 6:54), "He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has life everlasting and I will raise him up on the last day".
The Greek word for "life" used in John 6:53, is
"zoen" (zoen) which
"divine life of GOD imparted to us".
There are other Greek words for "life" that St. John could have chosen, such as "bios" (bios).
Why then did he choose "zoen" instead, other than to emphasize the fact that it really is the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ?
I have shown you three powerful words in this one verse, amen, unless, and the Greek zoen for life. Each word by itself is sufficient to show the literal sense of this verse and without so much as a hint of symbolism. All three of these words collectively, in one verse, show that there is not the slightest possibility of symbolism whatsoever in John 6:53.
Vs 54, "Whoever eats My flesh, and drinks My blood, has eternal life; and I will raise him up on the last day." Did He say to eat the symbol of His flesh?
Vs 55, Jesus said, "For My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed."
Vs 59, This verse shows that Jesus taught this discourse to all the people.
Vs 60, They doubt a third time when many
disciples said, "This is a hard saying, who can hear it"?
The Jews were instilled by many Old Testament verses, admonishing them not to consume blood.
See Deut 12:23, Lev 17:11and 14. They must have thought this was something akin to cannibalism.
Is this what you think too?
At any point did Jesus back down? Explain to me, if this chapter is symbolic, why did He not explain the symbolism to them?
Vs 61, Jesus did not back down, for He
said, "Does this offend you?"
He knew their thoughts and He certainly knew the Old Testament verses about the consumption of blood.
In the next verse, He separated spiritual things from earthly things.
Vs 63*, Jesus said, "It is the spirit
that quickens; the flesh profits nothing. The words I speak to you, they
are spirit, and they are life."
Did He say He was speaking figuratively or in parables? This is the second verse detractors use to try to "prove" that Jesus spoke figuratively for the whole chapter. What Jesus had said was, that we cannot accept this mystery if we accept it in too human a way, by having an earthly view of things. Those who can only think of cannibalism, are they not having an earthly view?
See John 3:6, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." Verse 63 means that we should not have a carnal human understanding of His words, but a spiritual understanding.
Romans 8:1-13 explains it very nicely...
"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, indeed it cannot; and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
But you are not in the flesh, you are in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Any one who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although your bodies are dead because of sin, your spirits are alive because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit which dwells in you.
So then, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— 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."
He who takes "The flesh profits nothing" as an excuse for
denying the "True Presence", denies the incarnation and humanity
of Jesus Christ." It is interesting that those who take John Chapter
six as being figurative, also take this one verse by itself and call it
literal, and all the while calling all of the other verses around it figurative,
or symbolic. If "The flesh profits nothing" figuratively,
then Jesus died for nothing. Anyone who says what Jesus Christ said in
these verses is figurative, is also breaking at least three basic
rules of Bible interpretation.
Vs 66, and now look what happens in John
"From that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him."
Did He call them back and say, "Hey I was just kidding, it is only a parable"? No He did not, for in the next verse, He did just the opposite. He would have let them all go. Are you one of those who walked away because His teaching is too hard? Interestingly, the Jews knew exactly what He was saying. If they thought it was only a symbol, then why would they walk away? If they thought He had spoken only symbolically, then why did they not ask Him to explain it to them as they had done many times before? This verse does not apply to the Jews only. It applies to all of us to this day who reject the True Presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. Did you see the connection to the verse number of John 666?
Vs 67, Jesus said to the twelve, "Will
you also go away?"
Right here, He would have let them ALL go for not believing what He had said, and He did not offer any further explanation.
Vs 68, interestingly it was Simon Peter who answered, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life". Have you ever wondered why Simon Peter is usually the spokesman for the Apostles?
Vs 69, Simon Peter continued, "We believe and are sure that you are that Christ, the Son of the living GOD." The Apostles believed Him. They did not walk away from Him as the Jews had done. Why do so many non-Catholics follow in the footsteps of the Jews in verse 66, and not follow the Apostles in verse 69?
Vs 70-71, Jesus named Judas Iscariot as the one who would betray Him.