As we ended last time, Jesus was explaining the spiritual significance of His “eating My flesh and drinking My blood” metaphor. Eating the flesh of Christ and drinking the blood of Christ is a metaphor for appropriating Christ by faith, embracing the message of Christ. It is the same as believing in Christ. It is meant to be understood in the spiritual realm, not the physical realm.
55 “For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. 56 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. 57 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.” (Eating is a word picture for belief in Christ. Eating leads to eternal life.) 58 “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.” (Unlike those who ate the manna in the wilderness, he who eats this bread will live forever.) 59 These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum. (This discourse, which began in verse 26, took place as Jesus was teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.)
60 Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this said, “This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?” (Who can accept these difficult teachings? They are even a challenge to His closest followers.) 61 But Jesus, conscious that His disciples grumbled at this, said to them, “Does this cause you to stumble? 62 What then if you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before?” (If I were to disappear into heaven, then would you realize that I am speaking in the heavenly realm, the spiritual side of life?)
63 “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” (True life is given by God’s Spirit and is found in the spiritual realm. The flesh in this discussion represents the material world. You are not going to find your answers to life’s big questions in the material world. An important principle of the Christian message is that there is an unseen spiritual aspect to our existence that is just as real as the material world that we see, smell, hear, and touch. Just because we cannot experience it with our senses does not make it less real. It exists!)
64 “But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him. 65 And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.”
The idea that only those chosen by the Father can grasp the spiritual significance of what is going on here is such a weighty topic that we will give it our full consideration next post.