May 16, 2022
The Year of our Lord, Jesus Christ
Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
This verse is not difficult to understand if it is remembered that the Lord is speaking figuratively about something spiritual. It is very much like the time King David wrote in the Psalm; O taste and see that the LORD is good: Psalm 34:8. In these verses a physical activity is used to teach a spiritual reality. Eat, drink, and taste. Anyone can understand these. These words speak about consuming food.
In speaking to Martha on the occasion of her brother (Lazarus’) death Jesus stated clearly: I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: John 11:25 Since He is life, anyone who partakes of Him, tastes, eats, drinks Him in; gains life. To live a person must consume food or energy. This is a physical truth. Likewise, to have eternal life a person must consume, partake, of Him. Through Him there is the power of life; eternal life. This was what the miracle of bringing Lazarus back to life was all about. Proving that Jesus is the power of life.
Most of those to whom Jesus said these words only thought about them as physical. Their failure to consider all that Jesus said resulted in one of the saddest verses in the Bible, John 6:66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. This is a common result of misunderstanding Christ, even unto today.
For example, someone hears of Christ’s saving power, His power to give eternal life, His power in this life, and His abilities to do miracles. Perhaps they decide to follow Him. But, somewhere along the line something happens, a heartache, a downturn, persecution, or simply the cares of this world. In these they fail to see the spiritual by only dwelling on the physical. Because the Lord does not do some great thing, or the thing they think He should do, they lose faith in His ability. Sooner or later, left unchecked, they will leave Him. They may indeed have eternal life because they received Him like a hungry person receives bread or a thirsty person receives water, but their temporal life suffers malnutrition because they cease to consume His Words, His Ways, and His Will.
This is the paradox of our earthly existence. While it is temporal, it is largely impacted by the spiritual. After all, it was Jesus who said in Luke 4:4: It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. To consume the Lord, feast on His Word.
Until next time,
William T. Howe, Ph.D.