Life Imparted Through Jesus

Bible Book: John  6 : 51-59
Subject: Lord's Supper; Communion; Life in Jesus
Introduction

In this text, Jesus makes a claim about Himself that leads to a major controversy. In this context the controversy came as a result of spiritual blindness. As the truth is expressed and explained, Jesus shows the consequences of unbelief.

QUESTION: “How can a man (Jesus) impart His own humanity to another man, so that other men shall assimilate it, and find the life of that humanity dominating his own?” G. Campbell Morgan

“Flesh” - His human nature.

“Blood” – His death.

Unless you enter into the experience that comes by the way of the shedding of blood, you have no life in yourself. When we come to Christ and believe in Him we receive into our souls the benefits of His body and blood offered for us on the cross of Calvary. Jesus Christ presents Himself as the spiritual food for the famished soul and He also urged the people to appropriate Him personally by faith.

Note what He said, how it was taken, and His response.

I. JESUS’ CLAIM John 6:51

Into this fallen world of disappointments, despondency and desperation came “the living bread,” the Lord Jesus Christ.

As the “Bread of Life,” He is the only One who can satisfy the deepest longings of our needy human soul. Only through Him can sinners obtain forgiveness, be restored to a right relationship with God and receive eternal life.

A. The Promise 51a

Jesus in simple everyday language communicated profound truth. He took our everyday routine of eating and parallel truth we must not miss.

In verses 37, 44, 39 and 65 God’s sovereignty in salvation is taught; in verses 51, 35 and 40 human responsibility to believe in Christ is in view.

NOTE: 5 Parallels

1. Food is useless unless it is eaten:

Spiritual truth does no good if it is not internalized. Merely knowing truth, without acting on it, both profits nothing and does not allow one to remain neutral.

2. Eating is prompted by hunger:

The full are not interested in food. Sinners who are satisfied with their sin have no hunger for spiritual things. When God awakens them to their lost condition however, the hunger for forgiveness, deliverance, peace, hope and joy drives them to the Bread of Life.

3. Food people eat becomes part of them:

We must appropriate Christ by faith.

4. Eating involves trust:

Eating the Bread of Life implies believing in Jesus.

5. Eating is personal:

No one can eat a meal for another. “We must individually receive Christ.” John McArthur

Psalm 49:7 - “None of them can by any means redeem his brother,/ Nor give to God a ransom for him”

B. The Price John 6:51b

Jesus gave Himself sacrificially for sinners. Jesus offered His flesh (life), that is the price of redemption. He made reconciliation between sinful man and holy God possible.

I Peter 3:18 - “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us[a] to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,”

“For the life of the world” – not merely for Israel (the chosen) but for the world.

II. THE CONTROVERSY John 6:52

This is not about cannibalism. Jesus gave a physical illustration of a spiritual truth. The Jews were blinded by the ignorance of their own unbelief. The Roman Catholic Church appeals to this passage as a proof of the doctrine of transubstantiation, the teaching that the body and blood of Christ are literally present in the bread and wine of the MASS:

Catholic Theologian Ludwig Otto writes, “The body and the blood of Christ together with His soul and His divinity and therefore the whole Christ are truly present in the Eucharist.”

Jesus did not use “flesh” in the Lord’s Supper but “body.” The Lord’s Table had not yet been instituted.

Jesus, in John 6:52, said that anyone who partakes of His flesh has eternal life. If that was a reference to the Lord’s Table, it would mean that eternal life could be gained through taking Communion. Communion is for those who are already believers (1 Corinthians 11:27-32).

Remember, Jesus was speaking not literally but with metaphors, encouraging people to appropriate Him by faith.

III. THE CONSEQUENCE John 6:53-59

v.53 Jesus uses aorist verbs not present tense. This suggests a one-time appropriation of Christ at salvation, not a continued eating and drinking of His body and blood.

BOLD TRUTHS:

Negative v.53 “you have no life in you” Those who fail to appropriate Christ alone for their salvation have “no life.”

Positive v.54 “has eternal life”

“will raise him up at the last day”

The resurrection to everlasting life is the believers’ great hope.

v 55 Promises true – food and drink

v. 56 Promise union with Christ

“Christ in you the hope of glory”

(Colossians 1:27)

v. 57 Those who believe in Jesus will live because of Him. Jesus has life in Himself and believers also have life in Him.