PICTURE JESUS POINTING at his body as he says, “Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” It’s not hard to imagine how this metaphor tripped up more than a few people. (Indeed, in the ancient world, Christians were regularly mocked as cannibals because they talked about consuming the body and blood of Jesus in their worship meetings.) But perhaps the meaning of the metaphor is even more offensive than the metaphor itself. In this passage, Jesus claims that his very self is the sustenance we’re looking for, that, even though we may chase after many things in our lives, we only need one thing: him. In our world, this is perhaps the most offensive claim Jesus makes: he—and only he—is what everyone needs. Many of us don’t like to think of ourselves as having needs. And if we concede that we have needs, we imagine that we’re unique enough that no one-size-fits-all solution exists. Still, Jesus says that he is the source of life for all. Does this offend you?
Let Me Ask You a Question: Conversations with Jesus (Upper Room Books, 2018)
Do Jesus’ words in John 6 offend you? Share your thoughts.
And Jesus said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted by the Father.” Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him. So Jesus asked the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”
—John 6:65-69 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
As Christians, we hunger to know and live out God’s purposes for our lives. But how do we know for certain that our choices are moving us in the right direction? Learn more about Which Way, Lord?—a 6-session churchwide or small-group study that will help you understand God’s desire for your life.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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