Tuesday, May 19, 2020

The Roman Catholic Church Gets John 6 Wrong

        In the Old Testament, eating bread was considered the equivalent of obedience to God (Deuteronomy 8:3; Matthew 4:4). This kind of reasoning in regard to the Book of the Law is also echoed in the Jewish Apocrypha:

        "He who eats of me will hunger still, he who drinks of me will thirst for more; he who obeys me will not be put to shame, he who serves me will never fail.' All this is true of the book of Most High’s covenant, the law which Moses commanded us as an inheritance for the community of Jacob." (Sirach 24:20-22)

        Just as God had provided manna to the Israelites in the desert as deliverance from starvation, so He had sent Jesus Christ into this world as a sacrificial provision to deliver us from eternal condemnation. That is the meaning of Christ being "bread from heaven."

        Unlike the Torah, Christ can completely satisfy our spiritual huger and thirst (John 6:49-51). "Eating flesh" and "drinking blood" is to be understood as trusting in Christ for salvation. We consume Him by faith and He sustains us spiritually by that same means (John 6:35-40).

        It is the words of Christ that impart life to those who believe (John 5:24; 6:63). This perspective of eating finds its basis in the Old Testament (Jeremiah 15:16; Ezekiel 2:8-3:3). To interpret John 6:50-58 as referring to Roman Catholic transubstantiation misses the entire point of the text.

4 comments:

  1. Excellent explanation of the "Bread of Life" in Chapter 6.

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  2. Now, there should be a caveat, that this is your personal interpretation. I do think that what you have said is a legit way to view that passage. There are always multiple ways to breakdown Scripture, God did not make a rigid system of interpretation, but allows us to practice our free will to come to Him, each with our own personal struggles. But, this interpretation is not the only one. I would agree with this interpretation mainly, if it weren’t for the Last supper talked about in the Gospel and even Paul, where Jesus gives a deeper meaning to what the Jews were confused about. Jesus, literally becomes flesh, bread in order to be more fully united to us. He becomes of this world, in order that we may be elevated to His level of being. Jesus’ teachings are very important, however the most important part of Jesus life was He, being God, incarnating himself to flesh and being the sacrifice for our sins. That is the most important part. With the weight of this fact, I think it even more appropriate God would leave us with this special sacrament of reception of Christ. The lamb was eaten every Passover, though it was also the sacrifice for sins. So too Christ is received body and soul in the body of we humans, to make a even more perfect union, causing are bodies to become more as they will when we are fully united to God.

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    Replies
    1. Sean,

      How about this. The Last Supper could NOT have been meant literally because Jesus was there eating with the Apostles and there is no way they could have understood it to be anything other than a metaphor, symbolic. How could Jesus say it was his literal body and blood while he is sitting there? And since it was instituted to remember his sacrifice, how could it have been a "mass" if he hadn't been sacrificed yet?

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  3. Hello Sean,

    The interpretation presented in this article is based on proper hermeneutics. It takes into account the entirety of Scripture. You recognizing my understanding of the Bread of Life Discourse as "legitimate" is surprising because it contradicts how Rome understands the text.

    In the upper room, Jesus picked up a piece of bread, blessed it, broke it, and while giving it to His disciples, said, "This is my body." That sentence can easily be understood to mean, "This represents my body."

    You would indeed know that a person is speaking figuratively if he or she pointed to a location on a map and said, "This is America." In the same vein, the communion elements signify His atonement on the cross.

    The Scripture says very plainly that we receive Christ by faith (John 1:12-13; 3:16; 5:24; 20:31). We do not receive Him by literally eating His flesh and drinking His blood.

    The eating of the lamb at Passover does not point to Him being eaten as the Eucharist at Mass, any more than does the sacrificial offerings consumed by pagans. You are making a connection that Scripture itself does not make.

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