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Truly, truly; The true bread from heaven

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posted on May, 15 2015 @ 05:05 PM
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“Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven”- John ch6 v32

Jesus was fond of using the phrase “Truly I say to you”, but this “double” version, with the repeated AMEN, is found only in John’s gospel.
He seems to use it to mark the statements which he wants people to remember.

The discourse in the sixth chapter presents three of them, like the discourse in the previous chapter, underlining its importance.
The background of the discourse is the feeding of the five thousand.
Jesus is addressing the crowd who followed him back to Capernaum.
Through them, he’s addressing the whole Jewish community, still holding to the covenant with Moses.

When the crowd find Jesus in Capernaum, they ask him “When did you get here?”
But Jesus responds to the implied complaint “We were looking for you for a long time”.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek me not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.” (v26)
Instead of looking for the “signs”, the pointers to spiritual truth, in what he was doing for them, they were interested only in the practical benefits.
He corrects them on two points
They should not be “seeking”, in that casual way, but “working”, putting real earnestness into the search.
And instead of looking for physical food, which only has a short-term effect, they should be looking for the kind of food which gives eternal life.
He himself, the Son of Man, can supply that food, because the Father has authorised him for the purpose.

They ask, taking the easy point first, what he means by “working”.
“What must we do, to be doing the works of God?”
He answers “Believe in him whom he has sent”.

Correctly understanding that Jesus means himself, they ask him to justify his claim that he has been sent by God.
Let him show them some great “sign”.
As an example, they cite the manna which the Israelites received in the wilderness, “he gave them bread from heaven to eat”.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.”
Again, he corrects them on two points.
He puts them right on their unspoken assumption that Moses gave them the manna; as the Psalmist says, it came from the Lord.
And in any case, the manna was not the true bread from heaven.
The true bread comes down continually (rather than just once in the past), and gives life to the world (rather than just the Jews).

They are convinced. Let’s have this bread always.
Then he identifies himself as the bread of life.
This completes the explanation of his original statement.
Believing in Jesus is the work they must do in order to receive the bread, and Jesus himself is the bread they will receive when they have done the work.

As for their demand to be shown a “sign”; he stands in front of them as the required “sign”, in person, and they have withheld their belief.
(However, their unbelief does not frustrate the Father’s will, which is that “everyone who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal life”.)

So he goes through it again (from v47)
First, “he who believes has eternal life”. This has been established in previous discussion (such as ch5 v24).
Secondly, Jesus is the bread of life.
The difference between this bread and the manna is that those men who ate of the manna later died, while the man who eats of the bread which comes from heaven does not die.
As the bread of life, he can also be called “living bread” (v51), able to pass on the life which he possesses.
As the living bread, he has come down from heaven (this refers to the Incarnation).
“If anyone eats of this bread, he will live for ever”.

Now we seem to have two competing statements.
On the one hand, eternal life comes from believing.
On the other hand, eternal life comes from eating “the bread from heaven”.
The only way to reconcile the two is on the understanding that “eating the bread” means “believing”.
In other words, “believing” is not just the way to reach the bread of life, but also the act of receiving it.

Then he adds a further complication.
The bread which he gives is his flesh.
The phrase “for the life of the world” attaches to one or the other or both. It echoes the statements in the other gospels, that his life was given “for many”.

It’s very understandable that the Jews should then ask each other “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”
But this is another example of the “materialistic misunderstanding” which plagues the dialogue between Jesus and other people.
He says something with a spiritual meaning, and they understand it in a materialistic sense.
Thus “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees”; “It is because we have brought no bread”.
“You must be born again”; “How can a man enter again into his mother’s womb?”
The same is true here. He talks of spiritual feeding, but they can only understand physical feeding.

In fact their question has been answered already, from the teaching he’s already given them.
If “eating the bread” means “believing in him”
And if the bread he gives is his flesh
Then “eating his flesh” also means “believing in him”.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you”. (v53)
The combination of “flesh and blood” obviously invites comparison with what was said at the Last Supper about his body and blood, identified with the bread and the wine.
But I stand by my previous conclusion, that the essence of spiritual feeding is the state of “believing” in him.
The allusion to the Lord’s Supper adds the message that our belief needs to include the significance of his death (already implied in “given for the life of the world”).
“As often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” (1 Corinthians ch11 v26).
One way of expressing the relationship between this feeding and the Lord’s Supper is a definition found in the Anglican catechism, that a sacrament is the “outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace”.
In this case, the physical act of eating the bread is the “outward and visible sign” of the “inward and spiritual grace” of being nourished, through faith, by the life received from Christ.

Our “feeding upon” the Son of Man is our access to eternal life.
His flesh and blood are “true” (ALETHES) nourishment, rather than the temporary nourishment we get from physical food.
The real key is that in this way we abide “in him”, and he in us (v56)
There is a bond between us, which unites us together.

The result is a continuous link between ourselves and the Father, and a transmission of life through that link (v57)
The God who sent Jesus is the “living” Father. As Jesus observed (ch5 v26), he has “life in himself”.
The Son lives “because of the Father”, through his connection with the Father.
And those who “feed upon” the Son live “because of me”, through their connection with the Son.

Finally, v58 recaps the overall message of the discourse.
Those who eat only physical food, even the manna of the Old Covenant, will die in due course.
Those who eat the bread of the New Covenant, the bread of life, will live for ever.




posted on May, 16 2015 @ 08:40 AM
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The Eucharist is the body, blood, soul and divinity of our dearly beloved Jesus Christ.

The Eucharist is the source and the summit of our Catholic Christian faith....for the reasons Jesus gives.

Catholics take John 6 very, very VERY seriously, as Jesus avers with the "Amen Amen, I say to you..."

Only in The Catholic Church, the Church started by Jesus...is the Eucharist legitimate. To those who say Jesus was only speaking symbolically when He said we needed to actually eat His flesh and blood, I would say that what you are doing is joining the crowds of disciples who found this teaching too difficult, and simply walked away. Imagine that, He's right there, in their midst, their savior...and they turned their backs and walked away. How sad.

Jesus IS the Eucharist. He's right there, waiting for you, in every tabernacle of every Catholic Church. He wants you to come see. Come home. Come home to the faith of our fathers. Come home to The Catholic Church. You may not fully understand, but don't just turn your back and walk away.

Enter any Catholic Church while nobody is around. The doors are always open. Sit down and just be there. You don't need to think, you don't need to pray...just exist. Before long, you will definitely get that instinctual feeling....that you are not alone in there. It's eerie. It's beautiful. It's like cuddling up in your mothers lap.






a reply to: DISRAELI



posted on May, 16 2015 @ 09:05 AM
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originally posted by: Ignatian
I would say that what you are doing is joining the crowds of disciples who found this teaching too difficult, and simply walked away.

I don't think so. They walked away because their materialistic understanding made them think "Feeding upon the flesh of Christ cannot be done".
My position is that it can be done.
My proposition about how it happens was built up, step by step, from the words of the passage.


Jesus IS the Eucharist. He's right there, waiting for you, in every tabernacle of every Catholic Church.

The only requirement specified in the New Testament is that there should be a company of Christians.



edit on 16-5-2015 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 16 2015 @ 11:28 AM
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"Take this, all of you, and EAT it. This is my body, which was given up, for you"

Refer to the original. EAT... masticate...put it in your mouth. Don't beat around the bush, or "propose", or ad to scripture what is simply not there. He said what He meant, and meant what He said.

The bread "becomes" the Body of Christ, after being blessed. Jesus said and did it at the last supper...and He said to keep doing it...."in remembrance of me". And Catholics have been doing this, as instructed, for 2000 years.

Also, have another look at Luke 24:13-35. On The road to Emmaus. Reread those passages in the light of the brilliance that is Catholicism.




a reply to: DISRAELI


edit on 16-5-2015 by Ignatian because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 16 2015 @ 12:06 PM
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a reply to: Ignatian
Jesus said
a) He who believes has eternal life
b) He who eats and drinks has eternal life.
The only way to reconcile those two statements is to identify "eating and drinking" with "believing".
If they are not the same thing, then Jesus is contradicting himself.



posted on May, 16 2015 @ 12:12 PM
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Catholics have a term for babies, pagans, or others who simply don't know Christ's teaching, as well as those who simply refuse to believe their conscience or they ignore blatant scriptural evidence.

We say they are Invincibly Ignorant. Invincible Ignorance is a fallacy. Circularity. For some, when they meet Jesus face to face, it will be a legitimate excuse. For others, it simply won't fly.

In scripture, those folks who turned their backs and walked away were disciples. They believed Jesus was their Lord and savior, their Messiah. And still they balked at the teaching, and simply left Him. Jesus didn't stop them, and He didn't attempt to clarify. Why? Because He meant what He said. Period. No equivocation.

They were invincibly ignorant.


a reply to: Ignatian



posted on May, 16 2015 @ 12:17 PM
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It's not either/or...it's both/and.



a reply to: DISRAELI



posted on May, 16 2015 @ 12:48 PM
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Humanity is God's gift to Jesus. We humans are physical as well as spiritual beings. We exist in time and space and require bread to nourish our physical bodies. And quite frequently. We don't eat once and call it good. No, we would eventually die of hunger.

Likewise, our spiritual health requires frequent spiritual nourishment. "Give us our daily bread".

"Do THIS in remembrance of me". Remembrance...root word: memorial. Do what? Do what in remembrance of Him? Just simply believe in Him? And for that, they walked away? Unreasonable. They already had belief, they were disciples. He said, EAT my flesh. They said, nope...and walked away.



a reply to: Ignatian



posted on May, 16 2015 @ 04:58 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you."

With this choice of words, this is another indication that Jesus was against, and looking to replace, the common practice of the ritual blood sacrifice of animals for the sake of sending one's prayers to the heavens via the life force of the killed creature.

Instead, he is saying to his followers to be in unity with him in life, through his body - for that relationship is real life in the Divine, and the only requirement for true prayer.

Thus, through such communion with the body of their Master, they connected directly with the Divine. No spilling of the blood of other creatures was necessary to partake in the true Spirit or Mana or Bread of the Divine. Through their breath of the Divine Spirit (Pneuma), their prayers would be directly received and made effective in life.

edit on 5/16/2015 by bb23108 because:



posted on May, 16 2015 @ 05:03 PM
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a reply to: bb23108
Yes, I'm currently working my way through the epistle to the Hebrews, which is expounding exactly the same point. Especially in ch10.

Very briefly, the argument is; what God wants is self-offering.
So the blood of bulls and goats is no good, because it's only a symbol of self-offering.
Christ is uniquely presenting a self-offering, which is what God was looking for.


edit on 16-5-2015 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 16 2015 @ 05:30 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI
Good to hear, as this is a very important aspect of Christianity.

This Epistle also assumes that Jesus' death was a necessary blood sacrifice, and so Jesus' blood sacrifice became the foundation of Christianity, even though Jesus was clearly against any necessity for blood sacrifice! He was certainly not condoning his own blood sacrifice!

Jesus clearly was pointing to one's direct relationship with the Divine in this life, through his body - not through the murdering of it.

But I assume you want to forego further discussion until later, given you are in the middle of your examination.

Edit: I just now read your edit. Yes, we all must offer our very "self" to God, but this does not mean the murder of the physical body. I cannot assume that this is what God wanted.

What Jesus taught was the sacrifice of self through fullest love of God and neighbor. This is truly the sacrifice of the body (or the offering of self) into the spirit, and does not require the death of the body.


edit on 5/16/2015 by bb23108 because:



posted on May, 16 2015 @ 05:36 PM
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a reply to: bb23108
Before seeing your response, I edited my previous post to add a brief explanation of the difference.
I've got Hebrews in mind for a prospective thread series, though it won't be in the immediate future.
I might add that I will be doing more threads on Old Testament sacrifice in the late summer, so the subject will be coming up then.



posted on May, 16 2015 @ 07:05 PM
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This all sounds fine and dandy, but you're basically just making it up as you go along. Lol

Another, more plausible scenario...is He meant exactly what He said, and The Catholic Church, inspired by The Holy Spirit, has been doing exactly what Jesus said to do for the last 2000 years.

Jesus frequently clarified difficult parables and teachings for his followers. But not this time. Why not? Cuz he meant EXACTLY what He said.

It's not a difficult teaching, don't walk away.


PS. Check out some online offerings by Scott Hahn. A former Protestant, he speaks your language and can pull all this together for you. He's very effective at communicating the genius of Catholicism.



a reply to: bb23108


edit on 16-5-2015 by Ignatian because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 16 2015 @ 08:22 PM
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a reply to: Ignatian

In order to have salvation and eternal life, you have to eat the cracker and drink of the grape. You have to eat the cracker and drink of the grape, that must be given to you by a priest, who blessed the cracker and the grape. But, before you can eat the cracker and the drink of the grape that's been blessed by the priest, you must confess and be absolved of your sins, by a priest, and be in a state of grace.

To be in state of grace you must have fasted at least one hour before you can eat the cracker and drink of the grape. Before you can be in a state of grace, you must BELIEVE that the cracker and the grape is the transubstantiation of the actual flesh and blood Jesus Christ.

Before you can be in a state of grace, to eat the cracker and drink of the grape, you must be baptized.

Sigh.....Why did Jesus make it so complicated!?

If you sneak in and partake of the cracker and drink of the grape without meeting all the above conditions, well, you could die!


"For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died" (1 Cor. 11:29–30)





posted on May, 16 2015 @ 08:24 PM
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originally posted by: Ignatian

This all sounds fine and dandy, but you're basically just making it up as you go along. Lol


Non-specific retorts like this are useless.


originally posted by: Ignatian
Another, more plausible scenario...is He meant exactly what He said, and The Catholic Church, inspired by The Holy Spirit, has been doing exactly what Jesus said to do for the last 2000 years.

Jesus frequently clarified difficult parables and teachings for his followers. But not this time. Why not? Cuz he meant EXACTLY what He said.

a reply to: bb23108



“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you."

So given your EXACT statement, if we take his meaning to be "EXACTLY what He said", then people sat around and chewed on his physical flesh and drank his physical blood, eh?

Would you care to elaborate or I guess you don't have to - because this is exactly what he said? My point is, you cannot take his statements EXACTLY and out of context.

Your elaboration of the Eucharist is a further interpretation of his various words basically reducing the practice he gave to a form of remembrance only, via a belief in some magical properties in the bread that generally relieve individuals of feeling their own responsibility for the real practice of communion that Jesus outlined in his two great commandments. In other words, you are explaining the Eucharist out of context with his entire Teaching.

What has been mainly lost with this Catholic ritual is what Jesus was really getting at in terms of the esoteric meaning of his statements, including the one I quoted above.

It is not just a matter of feeling the Eucharist is the body of Jesus, paying Jesus a few remembrances, etc. One must connect with the Spirit and breathe that One fully, throughout the whole body-mind, each day. Then there is communion with the Divine, not just through some magical mental assumption associated with the bread each Sunday.

What my post was getting at was this process and what Jesus clearly pointed to when he spoke of loving God with the whole heart, mind, strength, and spirit. The Eucharist was given not just as a process of remembrance and belief, but as a formal time of truly practicing altogether what Jesus taught - and to continue that each and every day.

So no, I was not making this up as I went along.

Rituals can be a good occasion for remembering this process, but they often become substitutes for the real thing, rather than truly moving people to taking on more and more responsibility in one's daily life for communion with God.

edit on 5/16/2015 by bb23108 because:



posted on May, 17 2015 @ 02:53 AM
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originally posted by: Ignatian
Another, more plausible scenario...is He meant exactly what He said...

People in the gospels were always making that mistake.
They were hearing statements which he meant spiritually and taking them in a materialistic way.
"You must beware of the leaven of the scribes and Pharisees" - "It is because we have no bread".
"You must be born again" - "How can a man go back into his mother's womb?"
It was the kind of reaction which made him sigh deeply and say things like "How long must I be with this generation?"

The people who walked away in ch6 had the same materialistic misunderstanding. They thought he meant a literal feeding on flesh, and they found that unacceptable.
But don't you see that you are guilty of EXACTLY the same faulty understanding?
The difference is that they said "He means it literally, and we don't believe it", whereas you say "He means it literally and we believe it anyway". But the fault is in the first half of the statement, where your thinking is on exactly the same lines as the people who walked away.

I'm often inclined to blame this on the lack of subtlety in the Latin language (the Romans being a very pragmatic people).
Obviously the western portion of the Christian church was Latin-based, during the Middle Ages.
I think this made their theology more prone to convert spiritual things into material things. The word SPIRITUS may have been a Latin word, but the sacred meaning of the word originated in Hebrew and Greek thinking and may have been a little over the heads of Latin-speakers.
Therefore, when considering the presence of the Lord at the Lord's Supper, mediaeval theology was unable to grasp the idea that he might be spiritually present, and was obliged to look around for ways of making him physically present. Hence the doctrine of Transubstantiation.
It would be off-topic to discuss them, but several of the features dominating modern Roman Catholic practice have much the same origin. The Latin-speakers finding visible, tangible substitutes for activities which are really the function of the Holy Spirit.

Incidentally, I think you may be getting confused between the different posters in this thread.
Your post was not technically a reply to me. But I took the above-quoted comment and some of the following remarks as meant for my benefit, because they don't respond to anything that poster said.
On the other hand, I have ignored "You're making it up as you go along", because I think that one really was meant for the other poster.





edit on 17-5-2015 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 17 2015 @ 02:53 AM
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edit on 17-5-2015 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 17 2015 @ 07:13 AM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI
Incidentally, I think you may be getting confused between the different posters in this thread.
Your post was not technically a reply to me. But I took the above-quoted comment and some of the following remarks as meant for my benefit, because they don't respond to anything that poster said.
On the other hand, I have ignored "You're making it up as you go along", because I think that one really was meant for the other poster.

Quit trying to partially hijack his criticism of my post! Either you get the whole thing or none of it!

Just kidding about this - you can have some of it, or even all of it. If I were you, I probably would have stuck with none of it, but I like your response.

Actually, I was also not sure whom he was responding to either - but I took a leap of faith and assumed it was me since that is what his "reply" stated.

edit on 5/17/2015 by bb23108 because:



posted on May, 17 2015 @ 07:18 AM
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a reply to: bb23108
I thought "Don't walk away" was for my benefit, because I hadn't leapt in to deal with his earlier comments.
But we can go shares.



posted on May, 18 2015 @ 09:51 AM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI
a reply to: bb23108
I thought "Don't walk away" was for my benefit, because I hadn't leapt in to deal with his earlier comments.


It appears, at least so far, that he is the one who "walked away".




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