“Then the Jews began to argue with one another, saying, “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?” So Jesus said to them, “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 yourselves. “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. “For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. “As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me. “This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.” (John 6:52-59)
Jesus did many miracles where food was involved. God had sustained the people in the Desert with Manna from heaven, food to eat. But the people struggled to understand the spiritual sustenance that God was giving them, their mindset was at the level of physical provision, much like ours today.
In our “consumer culture” food is bought, processed and packaged and then gobbled down while watching TV. But Jesus is not speaking of being food like a burger or Pizza and beer. Food is about more than the stomach. We savour it, we fellowship around it we select just the right wine to go with the ‘dish’ and a well-cooked meal is full of flavour and touches all the senses. We are talking candle lit dinners not fast food here.
In our consumer culture we have forgotten where food comes from, and many children don’t know that chickens produce eggs and cows produce milk, they only know that they come in boxes. We have lost the sense of the connectedness to the whole fabric of life that food has. We have become an instant food people and this has an impact on our spirituality. We treat church like a fast-food restaurant, we arrive, we sit, we consume and we are more interested in how the food ‘tickles our tastebuds’ then on its nutritional value. We don’t associate food with the growing process, drawing nutrients from the soils and converting them to nutrients, that we can digest. For us Jesus words, ‘you must eat my flesh and drink my blood, are as strange as they were for the Jews in this text.’
But at the heart of it is Jesus explaining that we are to draw our life from Him. Our Spiritual lives need to feed on him, to draw nutrients from him, to digest the truths that he brings and that our entire lives are dependant on His sustaining love. And he is not fast food that is easy to eat and has limited value to our bodies. Jesus requires us to savour him, to feed on him and to engage with Him and to receive the life energy that he brings. We cannot survive by just knowing about Jesus, we cannot survive by talking about him singing about him and reciting verses about him. We need to feed on Him. Law and right practice are outward physical things, we need to be spiritually engaged with Jesus, he needs to be the sustainer of life.
Don’t let your life in Christ be like watching the Cooking Channel. Come to the well, come to Jesus, feed on Him, drink from the well of eternal life, make him your life!
let us pray.
Sustainer of life, thank you that you call us to this intimacy, thank you that you are our “lifeforce” from you comes our energy and our well-being. Thank you that you are the bread of life that unites us with the Father. Thank you that you are our spiritual food. Today we feed on your love and grace and mercy and compassion. We thank you that you are full of favour and flavour. You are the bread of life!