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 EATING HIS FLESH!

DRINKING HIS BLOOD!

ONE OF THE MOST SYMBOLIC SERMONS JESUS EVER PREACHED!

"Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you." John 6:53

 

 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
II Timothy 2:15

 

 

 

 

LESSON 1, VERSE 51:

We today begin a new Series of Bible Studies. For quite a while I've pondered John 6:51-58. It's enigmatic, but essential!

In fact, what Jesus taught here was so "hard" that ... "from that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him." John 6:66

Here's our Text. Jesus is speaking. "I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me." John 6:51-57

We are ultimately going to focus particular attention on our Lord's pivotal words: "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you."

Amen!

In this great Paragraph, this towering Sermon, Jesus has been talking about the manna. Old Testament manna, in Moses' time.

Then our Lord boldly asserts: "I am the living bread which came down from heaven." John 6:51a

Jesus is the True Manna! Those ancient round pieces of sweet sustenance were merely types of our Saviour! He's the Real Bread!

There are many similarities between the manna and Jesus. The manna came from Heaven, so did Jesus! The manna was miraculous, so is Jesus! The manna was white, a color often symbolizing purity. So is Jesus Holy, sinless, without spot or stain! The manna was sweet to the taste, so is Jesus! Manna came with the dew, a picture of the Holy Spirit! So did Jesus! The manna was small, a type of humility! So is Jesus! The manna had to be "beaten" before served! So was Jesus beaten, the Cross, before shedding His soul-saving Blood! The manna was a gift from God, no charge! So is Jesus! The manna was available to all, and Jesus is the "Saviour of the world." John 4:42

But there's more in our Verse today. "I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."

If a man or woman, by faith, "eats" this Bread called Jesus, he or she will be given "life for ever!" Believing on Jesus is a picture of ingesting His very Being! Of eating his flesh! Of "accepting" Him as Lord and Saviour! Of being "saved" by His Grace!

Notice that Jesus Himself "gives" Himself in this Text! "The bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."

Jesus' Body, broken and bleeding, provides our Salvation!

The question in this Passage is simple.

Have you, by faith, partaken of Jesus' Death? Been washed in His precious Blood? Symbolically, "eaten" of His flesh?

                                                                                                     --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 2, VERSE 52:

Jesus had just made a "hard" statement!

That's what it was called in John 6:60, even by some of the Disciples.

Here is that stern fact, Jesus being the Speaker. "I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." John 6:51, with the capitalization being just for clarity and emphasis.

Today's Verse helps set the mood for the whole Text. "The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" John 6:52

They could not understand such a saying!

John, especially in his Gospel, uses the term "Jews" to speak of the lost people of Israel, unsaved and blinded in their iniquities.

"Jews," a borrowed Hebrew term really, is derived from the noun "Judah," basically meaning "praise." God founded that Nation to bring Glory to his Name!

But, as John 1:11 asserts: "He came unto his own, and his own received him not." That is, "He (Jesus) came unto his own (Israel), and his own (Israel) received him (Jesus) not."

However, Israel's rejection made possible Gentile salvation! The very next verse, John 1:12, gloriously adds: "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name."

Praise the Lord!

Yes, the "Jews" were puzzled by Jesus' Sermon about eating and drinking His flesh and blood! Again: "The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" John 6:52

The verb "strove" translates "machomai," meaning "to fight, often with weapons!" It's used figuratively here, of course. They fought mentally and theologically, arguing among themselves. Debating what Jesus meant! Was this some kind of spiritual cannibalism He was introducing? Just think of the Jewish taboo against eating anything with blood in it! And drinking blood, the very thought was repulsive to the natural Jewish mind!

These people, not saved, just could not receive the spiritual teachings of Jesus! Like Paul would some day write: "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." So true, 1st Corinthians 2:14

Listen to Nicodemus in John 3, when he first heard about being "born-again." His is a similar reaction. "Nicodemus saith unto Jesus, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?" John 3:4

Or when Jesus said this, John 2:19, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up," the Jews went wild! "Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?" But then John explains to us all, "But He spake of the temple of His body." That's the Resurrection!

These Jews just did not believe. John's Gospel goes so far as to say, "Therefore they could not believe." John 12:39

More: "Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him." John 12:39-4, idolatry had blinded the Jews to that extent!

Wow!

Jesus explicitly said this. "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him." John 6:44

Now, back to our Verse again, today's Verse. "The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" John 6:52

Poor Jews, poor sinners!

But again, that's exactly where we all were, when lost.

Here was their main question. "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" They are trying to deal with a spiritual issue in the natural realm! That just won't work!

Jesus did give His flesh, literally, on the Cross of Calvary! It was beaten and bruised and sacrificed!

It then, His Body, was laid in a tomb, a borrowed one!

Three days later it was raised from the dead, demonstrably so, with hundreds of eye-witnesses! Above "five hundred brethren at once," so Paul said in 1st Corinthians 15:6.

Well then, how can one "eat" of this flesh!

Especially when I tell you that forty days after its Resurrection it actually was ascended into Heaven and is there now, seated at the Right Hand of the very Throne of Almighty God!

Eat of that?

It is done, not literally.

That is called barbarism.

Cannibalism.

Primitive as it can be.

This "eating" (in Greek "phago") or "taking a meal" is done spiritually!

When you got saved ... spiritually, typically, in God's Eyes ... you ate of Jesus' flesh and drank His precious Blood!

This is a figurative way of describing the Regeneration process! Being made alive, born-again, in Jesus Christ!

We reverently re-enact the salvation experience, picturing it symbolically, every time we partake of the Lord's Supper.

Much like we once, at Believer's Baptism, pictured our own death and burial and resurrection, in Jesus, a testimony of our being saved by Grace!

We died to what we used to be!

We are buried in a "watery grave," the baptistry waters.

Only to be raised again, "to walk in newness in Christ!"

Yes, "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you," Jesus in John 6:53, day after tomorrow's Verse!

But we who are saved have done so, exactly that, and found Jesus to be meat for the soul! In fact, the very Bread of Life!

And His Blood is, the only thing too, powerful enough to wash away sin!

Spiritually, we are consumers of Jesus!

Happily so!

He's the air we breathe!

The very life we live!

He's our Everything!

So much so that Paul could say, "For me to live is Christ!"

Or, maybe going even further, again as Paul did, call Jesus our very life! "When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory." Colossians 3:4, watch those capitals again!

My hunger is satisfied!

My thirst is quenched!

In Christ Jesus!

Amen!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3, VERSE 53:

Jesus did say it. This cannot be denied. And John 6:53 records it carefully. "Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you."

I can find 25 different times that Jesus used this expression. "Verily verily" translates in Greek "amen amen!" It means "truly, truly!" The background of the word actually implies "firmness, faithfulness, surety."

Our Lord seems to use this "string" of words precisely when He intends great emphasis to be placed on a thought! And get this, He is quoted this way only in John's Gospel!

The English preposition "except" is "ean me" in Greek. That's how it's spelled anyway. It means "if not." In other words, if we don't eat His flesh and drink His blood, code language for "internalizing" the Lord Jesus, we cannot have eternal life!

Paul would have merely said, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." Romans 10:9

Same thing, either way.

But now we come to the "eating" and "drinking" part of our verse. Is this a literal thing? Or is it symbolic?

Here history traces two separate paths of thought.

Only one is Biblical.

In the tenth century a new doctrine, now called "transubstantiation," surfaced in what's today called the Roman Catholic Church. Gradually it spread throughout their whole theological system. This teaching suggests that the bread and wine used in communion actually become, miraculously, Jesus' very body and blood.

I do not believe this.

Nor do the Scriptures teach it.

Jesus is teaching metaphorically.

Figuratively.

Symbolically.

He's using what's today called "typology."

We do not practice some kind of primitive "cannibalism."

As I trust Jesus, believing on Him, as He moves into my heart and life, I am in principle "eating" His very flesh and "drinking" His very life blood!

That's why the result of this "union" is termed "eternal life" in the very next verse we are to study. In part, it has Jesus saying: "Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life."

Truthfully speaking, I'm not so sure but that getting saved begins a lifelong process of constantly "eating" Jesus flesh and "drinking" His blood! Living "off" Him evermore!

He is our life!

He is our sustenance!

He is our all!

As the bread in the Tabernacle was constantly kept fresh, ready for the priest's consumption ... so is Jesus constantly fresh, never stale, ready for our spiritual health and growth!

And Jesus' Blood, also initially and completely washes away our sin! But, in a sense, it also has an on-going ministry as well.

It certainly cleanses me from past sin, yes!

But, according to 1st John 1:7, it also cleanses me from present sin too! "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." 1st John 1:7, notice the capitals!

This makes a lot of sense, better yet, the Holy Spirit "bears witness" in my heart to this truth. Especially in light of the fact of Galatians 2:20, another of Paul's "classic" all-time statements! "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." Living by Jesus' Power!

"Christ liveth in me!"  So said Paul.

"Christ liveth in us, too!" So chimes the Church, the born-again of God!

Elsewhere Scripture thunders, Paul to the Believers in Colossee: "Christ in you, the hope of glory."

See it!

He lives "in" us!

Folks, that being true, we are "eating" His flesh and "drinking" His blood! Moment by moment!

My heart is being fervently warmed as I think about it!

Yes, Jesus!

You are, as always, right!

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you."

Which reminds me of Psalm 81:10. "I am the Lord thy God: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it."

Today, Christmas Eve, 2008, drink deeply!

Eat hungrily!

Enjoy Jesus!

What a life!

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4, VERSE 54:

Moses, long ago, said it. "For the life of the flesh is in the blood." But more accurately, Moses is really quoting the Lord in that great Verse! "For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul." Leviticus 17:11

Blood was so "special" to the Israelites that God prohibited its being eaten, under any circumstances! For example, "Therefore the Lord said unto the children of Israel, No soul of you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger that sojourneth among you eat blood." Leviticus 17:12

So, when Jesus preached these words; "Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day," recorded in John 6:54, many were completely astounded!

If taken literally, this invitation would be "illegal," Mosaically so.

But Jesus clearly did not mean "eating" and "drinking" actual blood and true flesh here!

He speaks parabolically.

Today's Verse is the "heart" of our whole Text, John 6:51-58.

There's only one way to get "saved." And Jesus must do the saving! "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6

So, when Jesus says ... "this" ... no matter what "this" is ... "this" gives a man or woman "eternal life," be sure of something. The New Birth is being described! Getting born-again! "Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day."

So, the eating of flesh and drinking of blood required here is merely a euphemism for salvation.

It's another way of expressing Jesus' great John 5:24 statement. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life."

"Hearing God's Word" and "believing on Him," when touched by the Holy Spirit of God, bring "eternal life!"

Therefore "hearing and believing" Jesus must equal "eating His flesh and drinking His Blood!"

There is no other way to be saved!

"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." And that Name is Jesus, Acts 4:12.

The paramount "John 6:51-58" Truth is ... "be saved!" Drink Jesus' Blood! Eat Jesus' Flesh! The Saving Jesus, through His Spirit, will "enter" your life! Your spirit! Your soul! Your body, too! And such a precious "invasion" is identical in principle to "eating His flesh" and "drinking His blood!"

This Verse, "Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day," means no more!

Or at least let me say this.

It does not mean that some specially endowed priest somewhere can "change," miraculously so, a wafer or a sip of wine into Jesus' real body and blood, to be consumed by multitudes day after day in twenty-first century culture!

No!

If all this were to be taken "literally," and respectfully I say this, Jesus' flesh and blood would have been totally eaten long ago.

But it's not a literal thing!

It's spiritual!

It's symbolic!

Yet, it's precious!

And, as God so often does, He has placed in creation examples, little "preachers," who show us physically what Jesus meant spiritually in John 6:54.

Job tells us this too, earthly pictures of heavenly principles! "But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee: or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee." Job 12:7-8

I recently learned of a little fish, a member of the catfish family, that lives in South America. It's called the "candiru," pronounced by many "candy-roo!" They exist in sizes from one to six inches. They live, totally, by eating the blood of others! They lodge themselves under one of the main gills of another fish, near its "host's" head! They powerfully attach themselves by a series of small backward-facing hooks! And then they "suck" and "eat" blood!

In fact, they "eat" for several minutes, up to six or seven apparently, filling their little bodies with that visibly red life-force, blood! Soon detaching and quickly going on their way! They've also been known to eat human blood, a careless fisherman's for example!

God's little "sermon" in nature! A "fish" that does literally what we do spiritually! Live on the blood of another!

Except we Christians live on the Blood Of Another in a much higher sense! We live "on" and "by" and "through" the Blood of Jesus!

Yes, Ephesians 2:13 says we are "made nigh" by the Blood of Jesus!

Colossians 1:20 adds we have "peace" through his Blood!

Hebrews 9:14 says we are "purged" by His Blood!

We pray by Jesus' Blood, "entering" into fellowship with God that way! So says Hebrews 10:19, clearly.

We are "perfected" by Jesus' Blood too, Hebrews 13:20-21.

And "redeemed" by that Blood, 1st Peter 1:18-19/

"Cleansed" by It, as well! 1st John 1:7

Revelation 7:14 has us being "washed" in Jesus' Blood also.

We are "overcomers" through Jesus' Blood, Revelation 12:11.

This BLOOD business is astounding!

One last glance, today's Verse: "Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day." Spoken by Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the darling Son of God, in John 6:54.

The verb "hath" is "echo," meaning "to possess, to hold on to," nearly "to wear!" It's present tense here also! The split second one believes ... the very moment of salvation ... he or she enjoys eternal life!

Apparently, it's an instant thing!

By faith, eat and drink Jesus ... and eternal life is yours! A gift from God! Believe on Him, ingest Him, internalize Him, trust Him!

Then, the verb "raise up" is "anistemi," grammatically, "to stand up!" Here, "to be made to stand up" by the Power of God!

The "last day," using "eschatos" for the adjective, means the day of the Rapture for the child of God! When Jesus comes again! From this word we derive the concept of "last things," or "eschatology," a division of theology yet studied today.

Saved for certain!

But more, saved forever!

"Up to" and "through" and quite "beyond" ... the day Jesus returns!

This Lesson's a little long today!

But it's Christmas!

And the Verse, paramount!

"Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day."

Now, do like Mary the Virgin did. "But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart." Luke 2:19

Commune with Jesus today!

Celebrate Him prodigally!

Hallelujah to His Name!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 5, VERSE 55:

The Verse is short. And Jesus has said things like this before. Yet the truth John 6:55 presents is absolutely profound!

"For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed." As I just said, John 6:55.

This divine sentence is a key portion of one of our Lord's "hardest" sermons! John 6:60 admits such. "Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?"

Our whole verse hinges on one word, a word that occurs twice in the text. It's the adverb, "indeed." Look: "For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed."

Spelled "alethos" in Greek, it means "truly, actually, surely, in reality!"

Jesus is saying as much as: "Of all meat, of all food, my flesh is the most Real! The most powerful! The most nourishing!

Meat, any lean and nourishing slice for example, is NOT necessarily a picture of Jesus' Body. Rather, Jesus' Body is the PERFECT example of meat, of food, of nourishment!

Jesus' Body is the Real Thing!

His Body is not patterned after earthly meat. Earthly meat is patterned after His Body!

Jesus' Flesh is the Apex of all food!

There is none like It!

I don't know if this makes sense yet, or not. I just know what the grammar of our verse seems to be saying.

If I eat a piece of rib-eye steak, I will hunger again. Whereas if I eat of Jesus' Flesh, having been saved by Grace, I will never hunger again!

Steak brings life, but it's fragile.

Jesus brings eternal life. It's durable!

The same is true of Jesus' Blood, too! "For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed."

Water, milk, wine, whatever ... these are simply not the perfect essence of liquid nourishment. Water has impurities. Milk spoils quickly. Wine sours.

No!

Jesus' Blood, we've just been told, is the absolute DRINK of life!

Talk about the so-called Fountain of Youth, Ponce-de-Leon style!

Again, no!

Jesus' precious Blood, That alone, is the Drink that brings genuine life, eternal life!

We hear of the "food pyramid." It teaches us how to eat properly.

Jesus just taught us the zenith of all meat ... and drink!

One's very destiny depends on these Entities!

"For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed." Then back to part of yesterday's verse: "Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life."

The Meat that saves!

The Drink that saves!

Jesus' Flesh and Blood!

Why, it's just another way of expressing "Jesus saves!"

Jesus elsewhere uses the "indeed" analogy too. in John 15 where He says, "I am the true vine," for example. "True" here is "alethinos," a cognate of "alethos." Like this: "I am the true vine."

Grape vines are not merely pictures of Jesus!

Jesus is the Heart, the Core, the very Meaning of the vine itself!

The vine is not a picture of Jesus!

Jesus is the Picture of the vine!

The ultimate Reality is our Lord!

Here's our word in John 7:26. Its translation will surprise you! I'll underline it for clarity. "This is the very Christ."

In this day when so many are doubting and denying the Saviour, we need verse like these to reinforce our faith.

Especially regarding salvation.

I know no other way to close than this. Let Jesus say it again. Then be sure you've eaten and drunk His flesh and Blood, that you've been born-again! "For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed."

Isaiah, the Evangelist, writes: "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price." Isaiah 55:1

Do so today!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 6, VERSE 56:

Jesus, in most of His Sermons, adds more and more truth as He develops His theme.

We've been studying His great Discourse on His Flesh and Blood.

Today, in typical fashion, the Greatest Teacher Who ever lived, adds: "He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him." John 6:56

There is an amazing link between this verse and John chapter 15, a later Sermon of our Lord's.

Watch please.

"He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him." Now let's compare John 6:56 to John 15:5. "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing." The verbs are obviously different, "dwelleth" and "abideth," but mean essentially the same thing. In fact, they are identical in Greek, "meno."

The relationships are the same!

Eating Jesus' Flesh and drinking Jesus' Blood are parallel to the branch abiding in the vine, drawing sustenance and moisture and life itself!

This helps us clarify, using Biblical metaphors or word-pictures, Jesus' intent in John 6. And John 6 is perhaps one of the most enigmatic passages our Lord ever preached.

So many people did not understand it that: "Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him." John 6:60 and 66

Now, let's analyze this little "gem" Jesus left us! "He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him." John 6:56

"Eateth" is "trogo," not the usual word for eat, which is "esthio." For example, in the New Testament "esthio" is translated "eat" 63 times. And "trogo" is rendered "eat" only 6 times!

"Trogo" specifically means "to gnaw" or "to crunch" on something, a food item! See here a perfect Bible picture of meditation and ingestion, accepting and receiving the Lord Jesus! "Trogo" may be a blending of another base verb, "tribo," that means "to wear away" or "to rub away" (which the teeth do to anything on which they gnaw) and "trauma," a "wound" (something broken and crushed or bruised)!

These definitions will preach!

Then, back to our verse, "He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him," the verb "drinketh" is "pino" in Greek, which not surprisingly means "to take liquids into the body." But, figuratively, "to receive into the soul!"

Jesus' Flesh and Blood are, of course, His very Life! Jesus is that Life, John 14:6 says!

But also, Jesus' Flesh and Blood are His Death as well!

Ponder and believe and receive Jesus' Death, His Blood shed on Calvary!

Then too ponder and believe and receive Jesus' Life, His Broken Body and Sprinkled Blood now in Heaven at the Father's Right Hand!

As we do these things, we are "drinking and eating" of Jesus Christ the Lord, God the Son, the Very Second Person of the Godhead!

And, as we do such, our verse promises: ""He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him."

Yes!

We consequently "dwell" in Him! "Meno" means "to remain, to abide, to tarry, to continue to be present!" It's the opposite of transience!

And, just as good if not better, He "dwelleth" in us! Using the same verbal stem, "meno." He's not a visitor, a mere guest! He's a Permanent Resident, King! Lord! Everything!

The old Preachers used to call this relationship, "He in me and I in Him," a reciprocal indwelling! 

And it, this endless cycle of delight, this reciprocity, never ends!

Not now!

Not in Heaven!

Not in a billion billion years!

It's truly Eternal Life!

One more time, our verse today, "He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him," is the plan of Salvation in microcosm! In miniature! Like an mighty oak tree in a tiny acorn!

To those who are "Spirit convicted," and then "Spirit enlightened," this whole concept is clear as crystal! To those who remain in darkness, it's offensive and repulsive!

It's like Acts 28:24 says. "And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not."

Will you believe?

                                                                                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 7, VERSE 57:

Jesus today uses a "figure of speech" to convey His Message. Still talking about His Flesh and Blood, our Lord adds: "As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me." John 6:57

The Father has sent the Son, Jesus, into the world. Our Lord repeats this truth again and again! So do the Scriptures. "The Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world." 1st John 4:14, for example.

The verb "hath sent" is "apostello." The root, "stello," means "to set in place, to set in order, to arrange, to prepare." Jesus, then, based on this verb, is an "apostle!" Hebrews 3:1 concurs. "Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus."

The Father here is called "living!" This is the only time in all Scripture that I can find the words "living Father" together like this! Now "living God" occurs over two dozen times!

The same word used to depict the Father's Life, "zao" as a participle, is used to describe the Son's Life too, ""zao" as an indicative present active verb.

They "share" Life!

The same Life!

"As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father." John 6:57, the first half of the verse.

"By," the preposition, translates "dia," and means "through," but also can mean "because of, on account of, for the sake of," as well as "by." That's when used with an accusative case object, as here.

Ponder these possibilities!

Prepositional possibilities!

Then comes the little conjunction "so." It's "kai" in Greek, usually translated "and" or "also."

Jesus living in the Power of His Father's Life ... parallels us living in the Power of Jesus' Life!

"As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me." John 6:57

The Father and the Son are One! Jesus said exactly this in John 10:30. "I and my Father are one."

Perhaps we are being told that as we spiritually "eat" Jesus, live on Him and ingest Him and meditate on Him and love Him, we too shall share His Life!

Remember, "eating Jesus' flesh" and "drinking His blood" are phrases equivalent to "believing" on the Lord for salvation! Look. "These things are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name." 1st John 20:31, where belief brings life!

Now, John 6:57, where "eating" brings life! "So he that eateth me, even he shall live by me." This is Jesus talking!

The verb for "eat," spelled "trogo," we've studied already in this series. Remember, it means "to chew or gnaw or crunch" something edible. Getting all its nourishment and flavor and enjoyment! It's a word picture for meditataion!

Also here "trogo" is a present participle! This eating never stops! It's habitual! Maybe even, in a good way, addictive! An on-going activity for the real Christian.

And the corresponding verb, "shall live," is "zao" again, but this time as an indicative mood, future tense, middle voice action word! Life in the age to come! In Heaven! For eternity!

Eating Jesus, enjoying His Beauties here, is an investment in the future!

Rewards even now, but an hundredfold rewards later!

And the same little preposition reappears! "Even he shall live by me." It's "dia" again, with the accusative. "Because of, on account of, for the sake of, through!"

It's almost as if Jesus is saying this. "I eat of My Father! We share the same Life Eternal! If you Christians eat of Me, you too will be given Life Everlasting!

I couldn't say this apart from 1st John 4:17. It's too bold a statement! But here it is! "Because as he is, so are we in this world." As Jesus is ... so are we!

Jesus intimately knew His Father! And ... we may intimately know Jesus, "eating His Flesh and drinking His Blood" in John's terminology!

Jesus shared His Father's very Life! And ... we, by eating of Him, may also share Jesus' very Life!

Indeed!

One more time. The Holy Spirit can explain it to you far better than I ever can. "As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me."

Glory to God!

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

What a Meal! Reverently is say it, yet Biblically I say it, "eating" of Jesus is a gourmet buffet of delight! Reminds me of Lady Wisdom's feast in Proverbs chapter nine. "Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars: she hath killed her beasts; she hath mingled her wine; she hath also furnished her table. She hath sent forth her maidens: she crieth upon the highest places of the city, whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him, come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled. Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding."

Come and dine!

 

 

LESSON 8, VERSE 58:

I had intended to close this series of Bible Studies with Verse 57. We focused on it yesterday.

But I noticed something about the context of our whole Passage. If verse 58 is included, we get a classic example of a literary method the Holy Spirit often uses, "inclusio."

That's when He both begins and ends a Paragraph with the same theme. These "markers" hint at His main point in the intervening verses too.

Now, here's John 6:51-58, not just through 57. I will capitalize the beginning and ending similarities. The "inclusio!"

"I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever." John 6:51-58

Jesus began with "Bread."

And He ended with "Bread."

In the middle however, He talked as much about "Blood" as "Bread!"

This great "Bread Sermon" of our Lord's, incorporating much of John chapter six, is a discussion of the manna that fell from the heavens back in Moses' lifetime. This was preached sometime after the great miracle, recorded by all four Gospel writers, of the "feeding of the multitudes." Those five thousand men, not counting women and children.

Here are a few "Bread" examples. The crowd said to Jesus, "Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat." John 6:31

Jesus responded: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world." John 6:32-33, Jesus has now begun the Sermon. Jesus is that Bread of God! But He will clarify that momentarily.

The lost throngs then chimed, "Lord, evermore give us this bread." John 6:34

"And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst." Amen! John 6:35

The outcome, even after hearing those great words? "The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven." John 6:41

The Lesson to be learned? "And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven? Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him." John 6:42-44

Jesus continues. Keep watching the "Bread" theme. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die." John 6:47-50

So, not surprisingly, it's even more "Bread" throughout our Text, our specific Text, John 6:51-58. The same John 6:51-58, which we learned earlier today, that both begins and ends with this "Bread" emphasis. This inclusio.

Here's what I believe occurred as Jesus preached that day. Among us humans, eating bread, very much of it anyway, calls for something to drink! Bread eventually demands drink!

The "Bread" in our Text is Jesus Body, His flesh, His physical feet and legs and arms and so forth. Usually such terms indicate the "humanity" of Jesus! His identity as the son of Mary, ultimately the wife of Joseph.

But "Bread" alone will not suffice!

Jesus' "humanity" is not enough to get us to Heaven!

He also is Divine! He is God! His "Death" must be laid alongside His sinless Life ... in order for us to be saved!

Jesus just had to talk about Flesh and Blood in John 6:51-58. Although His  "lead-in" definitely was the Bread!

Incarnation comes before Redemption!

Bethlehem before Golgotha!

The cradle before the cross!

Just as bread calls for drink, so salvation calls both for a Saviour touched with our humanity ... and also willing to shed His spotless blood for our eternal salvation!

Bread and Blood!

He, again in John 6:51-58, starts and ends with bread, but adds plenty of blood in the middle!

Jesus' life ... and Death!

Paul sees both here, Jesus' life and death! "For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life." Romans 5:10

The complex Levitical Offerings of Old Testament fame said as much too. Specifically, the "Meal" Offering pictured Jesus' Life! The "Burnt" Offering symbolized His Death! His Death on the cruel Cross of Calvary!

That's Bread and Blood again!

A question now.

Have you eaten His Flesh?

Have you drunk His Blood?

Are you saved?

To go to Heaven, you can't have one, His Flesh, without the other, His Blood!

I'll really close this time, with Jesus' words, all from our Text. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you." Verse 53!

"Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day." Verse 54

"He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him." Verse 56

Both soul salvation, back when you were born-again, and daily fellowship, now as you grown in grace, depend on Jesus!

Depend on Jesus' Flesh and Blood!

On eating and drinking of Him, spiritually speaking!

Friends, feast on Him today!

Now, that's really living!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

CONCLUSION:

They drink about half their weight in blood each night!

Yes, God is their Creator too!

The little vampire bats!

They also have a special saliva that coats the projected "stick" area with an actual anticoagulant! Obviously to stop their host's blood, the bat's current meal, from clotting!

When eating a chicken's blood, these sly little animals "mimic" the little baby "chicks!" They approach the mother hen from the side, out of her main line of sight. They snuggle up under her, just like her babies! They find a warm blood source, stick that surgically sharp tongue into the flesh ... and drink away!

Observers say that many times the hen does not even know what's happening!

Drinking blood, covertly!

Drinking blood, for nourishment's sake!

Yet what that bat does literally, we Believers do spiritually!

What it does against its host's will, we do by invitation from our great Host, the Lord Jesus Christ!

What it does slyly, we do openly!

What it does brings physical life, ours brings eternal life!

Another illustration from creation, from nature ... that "hints" at a great Bible Principle!

Jesus says it best: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you."

Amen!

No, we are not spiritual "vampires!"

We are connoisseurs of the Lord Jesus Christ!

He is our Delight!

He is our very Bread!

And Drink!

He, again Paul says, is our Life!

Enjoy Him today!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

         

 

                    A difficult Text to many, but a beautiful Text indeed!

 

 

 

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