Jesus: Our Sustenance.

Hello everyone. I hope you enjoyed the back-up article I put up yesterday. It was one that when I thought about turned out to be life changing. I still wish though that I could adhere to the principles for a long time that I often teach myself but too quickly if I learn a truth, I find I forget it on the applicational level and I must simply ask for your prayers in that area. (I could actually use your prayers regularly as the DeeperWaters blogger does have his own struggles.) Tonight, we will continue going through the book of John and studying the doctrine of the Trinity. We’re going to be in John 6 and reading verses 53-59.

53Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. 57Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever.” 59He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.

I really don’t like to go into secondary issues. I am a Protestant, but I do hold that Catholics who believe in Christ as savior and Lord are my Christian brothers and sisters. However, this passage does affect our Trinitarian understanding and I’d like to demonstrate that. I also have no desire to lower the eucharist or Communion meal, but I honestly do not see Jesus speak about that and I think speaking about that here lowers what Jesus is really saying. Now you can use the Eucharist or Communion as a reminder of what he is saying here, but remember it is the reminder that reflects the ideal that is given in this passage.

Let’s look at the first four verses of this passage. I believe that what Jesus is getting at is to compare himself to the manna in the wilderness. Had the Israelites not had that, they would have died. It was what kept them going through the wilderness. The manna was their sustenance.

Christ is comparing himself to that and what is he saying? He must be our sustenance. He must be our life. Apart from him, we are dead. We can have no true life unless it is life in him. He must be that which sustains us through our wilderness. He must be that which we rely on throughout our lives.

Now I do see the Eucharist or the Communion as partially reminding us of that, but considering for many of our churches that’s hardly a full meal, I don’t think that’s the point. I believe those were established to remind us of the new covenant. They could be hinted at here, but they are not the topic. The Jews would not understand a Passover meal being spoken of here. They would have understood Christ as our sustenance. A lot of them didn’t agree of course, but they understood. (In fact, they didn’t agree because they did understand.)

Let’s look at verse 57. Jesus says that he lives because the Father lives. Is this going against the Trinity?

Again, I must ask, “How?”

In Trinitarian thought, Jesus is begotten of the Father eternally. The Father is begotten of no one nor does he proceed from anyone. If there is no Father, there is no Son to be begotten. Because there is a Father, there is the Son also. To say Jesus lives because of the Father does nothing to deny their interconnectedness. 

Considering Jesus’s life is from the Father then, he points to that as he is the conduit by which that life is transferred to us. Note that this was said in the synagogue of a major city. The message would have then been well known and as the text indicates later on, many left at this point and ceased to follow him.

Will you be one of them or will you agree with Peter? “To whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

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One Response to “Jesus: Our Sustenance.”

  1. donaldsullivan Says:

    Great post, Nick! Really well thought out and explained. I wish that church would actually put more emphasis in the Eucharist, as the megachurches and the like seem to not really celebrate it. Sad.

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