Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Gospel of John and Moses: VII

I am the bread of life…I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves…He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me. Excerpts from John Chapter 6.

The above words were too much for many in Jesus’ audience. They responded, “This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?”

Jesus’ response (in part) is, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.”

The crowd was looking for physical bread and an earthly king; the crowd wanted its physical appetite fulfilled and its political needs met. Jesus says in effect, “The needs you have transcend your stomachs, they transcend your political and economic situation – your need is for eternal life – and I am the Bread of Life – the person who makes Me his or her source of life will live by Me just as I live by the Father.”

The people reduced Jesus’ words concerning eating His flesh and drinking His blood to the physical, to the flesh; Jesus says to them that they are missing the point, the flesh profits nothing, His words are spirit and life.

Throughout the Gospel of John the Law and the Prophets are transposed upward from the earthly to the heavenly. What was portrayed in the Wilderness of Sinai, whether by the building of the Tabernacle or by being lived out by a people on pilgrimage, finds its reality in Jesus Christ – the serpent lifted up – the manna – the Holy of Holies – the Garden – the breath of Life – it is all in Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh.

“Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.” John 6:68 - 69

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