In the last two texts which we have studied here in the

Book of John, Jesus placed emphasis on the fact that He is

the Bread which has came down from heaven.  In this way, He

taught the people that He is the Savior of men.

In our text today, Jesus re-affirms that He is, indeed, the

true Bread from heaven and stresses that in order for one to

be saved, He must eat that Bread from heaven.

  I.  Strife among the Jews concerning Jesus


    V. 52, "The Jews therefore strove among themselves..."

Note that at this point, the Jews were not striving with

Jesus.  They were striving with one another.  Also note that

this time the Jews were not just murmuring.  They were

involved in a strong dispute among themselves.  They were

engaged in a heated argument among themselves.

    It appears that at least some among them must have

expressed approval of Jesus.  They believed what Jesus had

said.  They believed that He had come down from heaven about

as He said and they believed that He is the Brad from heaven

as He said.  They must have expressed this belief to the

whole crowd, because others quickly rose up against them and

strove against them.  For a little while the two sides were

engaged in a strong argument.  Each side was strongly

expressing its views.

    The voice of opposition, no doubt still objected to

Jesus being called "The Bread of Life" and must have still

objected to the idea that He had come down from heaven.  But

instead of arguing those points, they brought up a new

complaint about Jesus.  In verse 51 of their previous

conversation, Jesus had said, "I am the living bread which

came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he

shall live forever..."

    The Jews took particular exception to that statement.

(V. 52), "...saying, How can this man give us his flesh to

eat?"  They just did not like what Jesus said at all.  They

did not understand that He was using figurative language.

They thought that He meant that men ought to literally bite

into His fleshly body and chew it up and swallow it.

Without waiting for an explanation to show that He was

speaking figuratively, they just got angry and they said so

in no uncertain terms to those who favored Jesus.


II. The necessity of eating the flesh of Jesus and drinking

    His blood


    As you might well expect, Jesus did not back away from

the discussion.  He did not back down on His previous

statement that it is necessary to eat His flesh.  In fact,

He repeats it more firmly than ever.  V. 53, "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."  He not only re-affirmed that one must

eat His flesh in order to have eternal life, but He added

that they also must drink His blood.  That must have really

turned them off.

    Jesus said that unless they would eat His flesh and

drink His blood, they had no life within them.  He was

talking about life from the spiritual point of view.  What

Jesus mean was that unless they ate His flesh and drank His

blood, they would not go to heaven.  He meant that unless

they would eat His flesh and drink His blood, they would go

to hell.

    In the next verse Jesus makes a great promise.  V.  54,

"Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal

life; and I will raise him up at the last day."  Jesus is

saying that if one would eat His flesh and drink His blood,

that person would be saved.  Jesus promised to raise him up

from the grave and take him to heaven.


III.  Another promise which Jesus made


    V. 55-56, "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."  There is a new

thought expressed in these verses.  Jesus said that if one

would eat His flesh and drink His blood, that person would

dwell in Him.  That is, he would dwell within the protective

keeping power of Jesus.

    There is a lot of discussion in the religious world

today about how one gets into Jesus, that is, about how one

gets into the saving power of Jesus and into the keeping

power of Jesus.  Some insist that the only way to get into

Jesus is through baptism.  But in this text Jesus says that

if one eats His flesh and drinks His blood that He will get

into Jesus.  So Jesus makes it clear that water baptism is

not necessary to get into Jesus.

    It must have mystified the unbelieving Jews even more

when Jesus said, that one who eats His flesh and drinks His

blood is not only in Jesus, but Jesus is in him.  That is,

the very nature of Jesus dwells within this person through

the Holy Spirit of God who produces the new birth.

    By eating His flesh, drinking His blood, one gets into

Jesus.  He gets into the saving power and keeping power of

Jesus At the same time, Jesus gets into him.  The nature of

Jesus is born within him in the new birth.


IV.  Life from the Father for the Son, and Life from the Son

    for the sinner


    In verse 57 Jesus makes a play on the idea of life.  V.

57, "As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the

Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me."  He

speaks of God the Father who is the Living God.  Jesus calls

Him "The Living Father."  He speaks of His own physical life

on earth as having come from the Living Father through the

Holy Spirit.  He was alive on earth because the Father had

sent Him to live on earth.  Then He speaks of one who eats

His flesh  as having life through Him.  Jesus, Himself would

give that person life.  The Father gave Him physical life on

earth.  Jesus would give spiritual life to one who eats the

Bread from heaven.

    In verse 58 Jesus again refers to Himself as the Bread

of Life.  V. 58, "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."


V.  Interpreting what Jesus said about eating His body and

    drinking His blood


    In this text Jesus has made repeated reference to

Himself as the Bread of Life and has repeatedly said that in

order for one to be saved, one must eat His flesh and drink

His blood.  I would now like to focus upon what Jesus meant

by what He said.

    Some insist that the language which Jesus used here

should be taken literally.  Such cannot be the case.  There

is absolutely no record in Scripture of anybody literally

eating the flesh of Jesus nor literally drinking His blood.

If one had to literally eat the flesh of Jesus and literally

drink His blood in order to go to heaven, we would be forced

to conclude that nobody will ever go to heaven because

nobody ever literally ate His flesh nor drank His blood.

That would mean that not even the apostles would go to

heaven, because not even one apostle ever literally ate His

flesh nor drank His blood.  This just cannot be what was

meant.  We, therefore, will conclude that the language which

Jesus used was to be taken figuratively rather than


    Some still insist that the language must be taken

literal and try to justify their position by saying that the

eating of His literal flesh and the drinking of His literal

blood is through taking the Lord's Supper.  They say that in

the observance of the Lord's Supper, the bread literally

becomes the body of Jesus and the blood of the grapes

literally becomes the blood of Jesus.  They say that when

one takes the Lord's Supper that he literally eats the flesh

of Jesus and literally drinks the blood of Jesus.

    I cite you to two things which show the foolishness of

this argument.  First I cite you to the time when the Lord's

Supper was originally observed.  Jesus is the One who

instituted the Supper and He observed it with His disciples.

At that time, Jesus was with His disciples in person.  He

was there physically and bodily.  They could see Him and

touch Him.  The bread which they ate was from the table was

not His literal body.  His literal body was still separate

and apart from that bread.  That bread did not literally

become the body of Jesus.

    Neither did the blood of the grapes literally become the

blood of Jesus.  The literal blood of Jesus was still in His

veins as they drank the juice of the grapes.  That juice

only symbolized the blood of Jesus.  So the original

observance of the Supper shows clearly that the bread and

the juice does not literally become the body and blood of

Jesus.  If it did not do so in that original observance, we

can be sure that it never does.

    But I cite you to another thing to show the fallacy of

this interpretation.  If it were true that the bread and

juice in the Lord's Supper is the only way whereby men can

get to heaven then this would mean that nobody who ever

lived and died before the institution of the Lord's Supper

ever went to heaven.  That would leave out such men as

Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, whom the Bible speaks of being in

heaven.  That would leave out King David.  It would leave

out the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Joel,

Amos, and all the others.

    The truth of the matter is that Jesus was using Bread

symbolically to show that He is the Savior of men.  He is

the One, the only One, who can give eternal life.

    Jesus spoke of His own body as the Bread of Life because

He would give His own body in sacrifice so that lost sinners

might be saved.

    Jesus spoke of the necessity of eating His flesh because

this act is symbolic of trusting in the sacrifice that He

made on the cross for lost men.  When one trusts the

sacrifice of His body, which He made on the cross, as being

sufficient payment for his sins and He trusts Jesus to save

him from his sins, that is the equivalent symbolically to

eating the flesh of Jesus.

    Listen again to what Jesus said back in verse 40, "And

this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which

seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting

life: and I will raise him up at the last day."  Also listen

again to what Jesus said in verse 47, "Verily, verily, I say

unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life."

When one comes to Jesus and trusts in Him for salvation,

that is equivalent to eating the flesh of Jesus and drinking

His blood.  One who comes to Jesus and trusts in Him gets

saved and goes to heaven.

    Listen also to what Jesus said back in John 3:18, "He

that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that

believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not

believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

Listen again to John 3:36, "He that believeth on the Son

hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son

shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him."

    The way to be saved and go to heaven is to come to Jesus

Christ and place your faith in Him to save your soul and

take you to heaven.  If you do that, you have -- at least

symbolically -- eaten the flesh of Jesus and you have drunk

His blood.

    The thing that determines where you will spend eternity

is whether or not you ever trust in Jesus as your Savior.

If you have already done so, then thank God!  You are saved

and Jesus will take you to heaven.

    But if you have not already trusted Jesus to save your

soul then you are still in grave danger.  You are in danger

of spending eternity in the fires of hell.  You will never

make it to heaven as long as you go on as you are.  If you

want to go to heaven you must turn to Jesus and trust Him to

save your soul.  And you must do so before it is too late.

You need to come to Jesus today and put your faith in Him

for the salvation of your soul.

    If you are already save and you wish to unite with this

church, then we invite you to come and present yourself as a

candidate for membership.  It you are not already saved

would you come and get this matter taken care of today?




    Who will come today?