Thursday 13 July 2017

Bible Book:

“Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life” (v. 54)

John 6:52-59 Thursday 13 July 2017

Psalm: Psalm 36


What on earth was Jesus doing? Fancy a good Jewish boy speakingof eating flesh and drinking blood. Even the most lax of Jews wouldhave known from a very early age the rules set out in Leviticus (Leviticus 17:10-16) prohibiting consuming ofany blood, least of all that of another human! The whole ritual ofkosher butchering was designed precisely to prevent any blood beingconsumed during the eating of meat and here it appears that Jesusis turning their understanding on its head.

To understand a little of what Jesus is alluding to we need torecognise where Jesus is speaking. The people of the synagogue knewthe Jewish story better than most. One of their stories we oftenmiss but that is highly relevant to today's passage is where KingDavid's men risk their lives that he might drink water (2Samuel 23). In receiving the water he declares "The Lord forbidthat I should do this. Can I drink the blood of the men who went atthe risk of their lives?" (2Samuel 23:17) as he pours the precious water into the ground.David could not be seen to profit from the blood of his men.

But Jesus knew that if the people were to benefit from all thathe would endure they needed to accept wholeheartedly the gift thatwas being offered. He states it here, and reinforces it in aphysical representation on the night before he dies as he gathershis friends in the upper room (Matthew 26:26-29). In order tobenefit from what God is offering them they need to receive Jesus,keep the faith and (as some may argue) remain within the communityhe was gathering around him.

To Ponder

  • What is Jesus asking of you in this passage?
  • What is your understanding of what we must do to receiveeternal life?
  • How does Holy Communion fit into this understanding?
  • Does your understanding include the need to receive HolyCommunion regularly? Why?
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