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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tuesday October 4, John 6.52-59

John 6.52-59

The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”So Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day;for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink.Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them.Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me.This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever.”He said these things while he was teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum.

Thoughts:  Again we have Jesus speaking this high theology about the Sacrament of the Table (Holy Communion) and his using the manna in the wilderness as a kind of prefiguring what God was now doing in Jesus.  The manna came done, but it was a temporary solution and good only for physical hunger.  The Son has now come down and he is a permanent solution for spiritual hunger.   The word "abide" is very important in John's gospel.  In the beginning it is interpreted as "where are you staying" when the disciples respond to Jesus' question of "What are you looking for?"   It is more than a location, but suggests to what are you connected.  Where do you draw your source of life?  To this Jesus said, "Come and see."  Now he is using this word to suggest that not only does he 'abide' in the Father, but all those who 'abide'  (are connected) to him will have eternal life.   So early on in John's Gospel the first question is:  "What are you looking for?"  "Where do you abide Jesus," ask the new disciples.  "Come and see," he says.  Now they are called to abide in him!

Questions:  This language of eating flesh and drinking blood is very graphic.  Why do you think Jesus used such graphic language to talk about communion?   Lutherans hold to the fact that Jesus is 'really present' in the Holy Communion.  How do you think this passage informs that theological understanding?  

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