The Bible tells us that in the Old Testament times God forbid the nation of Israel to eat unclean meats; you can read about that in Leviticus 23. If God did not want the nation of Israel to eat scavenger animals surely cannibalism is NOT what Jesus is discussing here in John 6. What is the real meaning of this statement made by our Lord and Savior of the World (John 4:42) Jesus Christ.
First and foremost I must make a statement of why I only use the King James Version of the Bible in my studies. To understand the true meaning of words written in the Bible there is only 1 dictionary that I am aware of, I’m sure there are more, that interprets the Hebrew Language, which is what the Old Testament is written in, and the Greek Language which is what the New Testament was written in. That dictionary is the Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible and was written by Dr. James Strong and was published in 1890. Dr. Strong was Professor of Exegetical Theology at Drew Theological Seminary at the time of its writing. The Strong’s Concordance is an exhaustive cross-reference of every word of the King James Bible back to the words of the original text.
As with all languages as time goes by the meaning and definitions of words change and that is why you have to go back in time to understand what the words stated in the Bible really mean. Back in the day it was written the Disciples knew the language and understood it, today it is all totally different, the newly written Bibles, for example, New International Version, waters down the true meaning written at the time is it was recorded, with the mind set of Heaven and Hell teachings.
With that said let’s get into the scriptures and see what Jesus was really saying in John 6.Jesus in John 6 in verse 1-14, feeds the 5,000; verse 15-21 He walked on the sea; and in verse 22-71 Jesus is discussing that He is the bread of life that came down from Heaven, John 6:33. Now in verse 53-55, let’s see what Jesus was really talking about. Then Jesus said unto them, “Verily I say unto you, except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoso eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, has eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.” In the King James it says eateth, and that word in the Greek Language is # 2068 and means, “strengthening of importance, relating to Jesus’ flesh”, and drink is # 4095 in the Strong’s Concordance meaning “receive into the mind and retain”. He is talking about His sacrifice for the sins of the world, and what He did on the cross; He gave His life for all of mankind. His body was destroyed; his blood was spilled on the ground. He was telling them that they had to be dedicated to Him and His ways or else they would not have eternal life. They had to except Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and follow him. And to say the least the people didn’t like to hear that. Let’s continue on in John 6:60; “Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, this is a hard saying; who can hear it? Hard is # 2642 and means just what it says, it’s hard, tough, and the word, hear, is # 191 and means to understand. In other words, they had no idea what he was talking about with his flesh and his blood; they could not conceive what he was saying. Let’s go on to verse 61, “When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, does this offend you”? Now offend is # 4624 and means, to trip up, stumble; Jesus knew that they were spiritually discerned about what he was saying. The Holy Spirit had NOT been given to the disciples yet because Jesus has not been crucified yet. You can see this has nothing to do with cannibalism and again why they couldn’t understand what he was saying, they were spiritually discerned. And because of their unbelief in Jesus he added in verse 62, “What and if you shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before”? Jesus is saying here, if you don’t believe what I am saying hear about coming to me and accepting my sacrifice, his flesh and blood, what you going to say when I ascend up to Heaven where I was before. Verse 63, Jesus speaking, “It is the spirit that quickens; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life”. Most of the disciples following him were what I would call fair weathered followers; They loved the miracles, they loved the feeding of bread to thousands, but for them it was just a show, to get serious and follow Jesus with all their heart and all their mind, No, that is too hard. There is no doubt in my mind that Jesus was setting up the 12 disciples mind about the Passover that was coming in the spring, probably around six months later after He said this. And again the Holy Spirit was not given yet Jesus knew they wouldn’t get it. Read the other articles on this website you will understand what I am saying here Please, (the subject about the people not understanding His words.)
Let’s turn to Mathew 26:26, they all were eating the Passover meal, “And as they were eating, Jesus took bread and blessed it, and broke it, and gave it the disciples, and said, Take eat, this is my body. And He took the cup, and gave thanks and gave it to them, saying, Drink You all of it; for this is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins”. Again, what did Jesus state in John 6:53 “Then Jesus said unto them, Verily verily, (which means, Listen closely), I say unto you. Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you have no life in you.” In John 6 Jesus was setting them up to understand what was happening when the Passover came that’s quoted in Mathew 26, and it is now what we know today as taking Communion at our Churches. I feel this scripture sums up what Jesus is saying about eating his flesh and drinking his blood, “2 Peter 3:18, “But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever. Amen.” In John 15:4, Jesus said He is the true vine; “Abide in me, and I in you, as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you except you abide in me. Simply put, a Relationship with Jesus, dedicated to Him, that’s what it’s all about. Romans 13:14, “But put you on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lust thereof. “
1Corinthians 16:22, “If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema (which means in the Greek, # 331, excommunicated, a religious ban), and Maranatha.” (# 3134, when Christ returns he will be judged.)
God the Father wants us dedicated to His Son, our Lord and Savior and soon coming King. And friends, Brothers and Sisters of Jesus, it is only through the Holy Spirit that we can have the dedication needed to be the followers He wants us to be, so pray consistently to God for more of the Holy Spirit. So to finish John 6:53-55, Jesus was educating His disciples then and 6 months later at the Passover how the Church. could in the future eat his flesh and drink his blood spiritually setting up the communion service for the And the other disciples that quit following Him were again fair weathered followers Not dedicated to the Lord and Savior. I hope this has helped you understand more, and again, Please read the other articles on this website hopefully with your Bible beside You so you can see for yourself what God is teaching us. He is a marvelous God and a Wonderful Savior. Forever will He reign! Amen, Amen. Thanks for your interest, God Bless, the Lord be with you. Pastor Mark