I have always felt uncomfortable with Jesus’ raw and cannabalistic claim: “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life” (John 6:54). It may be fitting for an outreach event to zombies, but I can’t stand even watching zombie shows—let alone becoming an immortal flesh-eating disciple. The reprehensible image probably explains why John 6:54 doesn’t show up on refrigerators and bumper stickers. But how should we handle its uncomfortable message? Is it just a metaphor for the Eucharist (i.e., eating bread and drinking wine at Communion) or am I missing something Jesus meant?
To understand Jesus’ point, we have to hear his words like the first audience of John’s Gospel did. To listen with their ears, we must know who they were.
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Paul Penley's training as a Bible scholar, life as a human being, and work as a philanthropic advisor overflows into this blog
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