John 6 is at once one of my favorite chapters to chew on… and the most frustrating chapter to read. It is the deep call to discipleship and full participation in Christ.
This is the place where Jesus drives a crowd AWAY. In our world, that’s utter foolishness. We are so thirsty for big crowds! We celebrate big crowds! And Jesus is here thinning things out!
Here are my notes in these verses over the years:
I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever, and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
Then the Jews debated among themselves, asking, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”
Jesus said to them, “I assure you, unless you eat the flesh of the Human One and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. My flesh is true food and my blood is true drink.
Jesus calls us to FULL participation with him! It is deep, intimate, and FULL.
Jesus always spoke in a way that brought mystery. Either you plunged in to discover more or you walked away confused. You have to pay attention!
Jesus calls us to SUCH a deep level of intimacy! We don’t fully understand at first and it simply sounds odd… Or worse.
To “believe” is found here. It is not our Western view of mental ascent. It is not to “know” something with our head knowledge. To “believe” is to be FULLY IN. Jesus calls us to be FULLY IN. It is the fullest participation his divine nature. It is to have ALL of him, even when it sounds like cannibalism. It is to ABSORB HIM.
Jesus doesn’t want my mental ascent. He wants my full participation in HIM. I have to be ALL in… to “eat his flesh” and “drink his blood.”
My prayer in all this: Drive me to this level of intimacy with you, Lord!