My flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed - Or, rather, My flesh is the true meat, etc. In both clauses of this verse, instead of αληθως, the adverb, I read αληθης, the adjective, agreeing with βρωσις . This reading is supported by BCKLT, and twenty-one others; both the Arabic, Coptic, Sahidic, Armenian, two copies of the Itala, Clement, Origen, Cyril, Chrysostom, and Damascenus. Our Lord terms his flesh, the true meat, and his blood the true drink, because those who received the grace merited by his death would be really nourished and supported thereby unto eternal life. He calls himself the true vine, John 15:1, in exactly the same sense in which he calls himself the true bread, John 6:32, and the true meat and drink in this verse.
In these verses Jesus repeats what he had in substance said before.
Except ye eat the flesh - He did not mean that this should be understood literally, for it was never done, and it is absurd to suppose that it was intended to be so understood. Nothing can possibly be more absurd than to suppose that when he instituted the Supper, and gave the bread and wine to his disciples, they literally ate his flesh and drank his blood. Who can believe this? There he stood, a living man - his body yet alive, his blood flowing in his veins; and how can it be believed that this body was eaten and this blood drunk? Yet this absurdity must be held by those who hold that the bread and wine at the communion are “changed into the body, blood, and divinity of our Lord.” So it is taught in the decrees of the Council of Trent; and to such absurdities are men driven when they depart from the simple meaning of the Scriptures and from common sense. It may be added that if the bread and wine used in the Lord‘s Supper were not changed into his literal body and blood when it was first instituted, they have never been since.
The Lord Jesus would institute it just as he meant it should be observed, and there is nothing now in that ordinance which there was not when the Saviour first appointed it. His body was offered on the cross, and was raised up from the dead and received into heaven. Besides, there is no evidence that he had any reference in this passage to the Lord‘s Supper. That was not yet instituted, and in that there was no literal eating of his flesh and drinking of his blood. The plain meaning of the passage is, that by his bloody death - his body and his blood offered in sacrifice for sin - he would procure pardon and life for man; that they who partook of that, or had an interest in that, should obtain eternal life. He uses the figure of eating and drinking because that was the subject of discourse; because the Jews prided themselves much on the fact that their fathers had eaten manna; and because, as he had said that he was the bread of life, it was natural and easy, especially in the language which he used, to carry out the figure, and say that bread must be eaten in order to be of any avail in supporting and saving men. To eat and to drink, among the Jews, was also expressive of sharing in or partaking of the privileges of friendship. The happiness of heaven and all spiritual blessings are often represented under this image, Matthew 8:11; Matthew 26:29; Luke 14:15, etc.
Is meat indeed - Is truly food. My doctrine is truly that which will give life to the soul.
As a means of intellectual training, the opportunities of the Sabbath are invaluable. Let the Sabbath school lesson be learned, not by a hasty glance at the lesson scripture on Sabbath morning, but by careful study for the next week on Sabbath afternoon, with daily review or illustration during the week. Thus the lesson will become fixed in the memory, a treasure never to be wholly lost.—Education, 251, 252. CSW 43.1Read in context »
And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst . John 6:35. SD 70.1
The mind is the best possession we have; but it must be trained by study, by reflection, by learning in the school of Christ, the best and truest educator the world has ever known.8The Review and Herald, January 6, 1885. SD 70.2Read in context »
“Search the scriptures,” Christ declared, “for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me” (John 5:39). Those who dig beneath the surface discover the hidden gems of truth. The Holy Spirit is present with the earnest searcher. Its illumination shines upon the Word, stamping the truth upon the mind with a new, fresh importance. The searcher is filled with a sense of peace and joy never before felt. The preciousness of truth is realized as never before. A new, heavenly light shines upon the Word, illuminating it as though every letter were tinged with gold. God Himself has spoken to the mind and heart, making the Word spirit and life. 2SM 39.1
Every true searcher of the Word lifts his heart to God, imploring the aid of the Spirit. And he soon discovers that which carried him above all the fictitious statements of the would-be teacher, whose weak, tottering theories are not sustained by the Word of the living God. These theories were invented by men who had not learned the first great lesson, that God's Spirit and life are in His Word. If they had received in the heart the eternal element contained in the Word of God, they would see how tame and expressionless are all efforts to get something new to create a sensation. They need to learn the very first principles of the Word of God; they would then have the word of life for the people, who will soon distinguish the chaff from the wheat, for Jesus left His promise with His disciples.—Letter 132, 1900. 2SM 39.2Read in context »
God honors those who obey Him. “The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness,” said David; “according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me. For I have kept the ways of the Lord, and have not wickedly departed from my God. For all his judgments were before me, and I did not put away his statutes from me” (Psalm 18:20-22). 1SM 299.1
Only the believer in Christ can receive life everlasting. Only by continually feeding on Christ's flesh and blood can we have the assurance that we are partakers of the divine nature. No one should be indifferent on this subject, saying, If we are honest, it is no matter what we believe. You cannot with safety surrender any seed of vital truth in order to please yourself or anybody else. Do not seek to avoid the cross. If we receive no light from the Sun of Righteousness, we have no connection with the Source of all light; and if this life and light do not abide in us, we can never be saved. 1SM 299.2Read in context »