EAT MY FLESH!
and Drink My Blood! (John 6)
(Affirmation -- Part A)
By Edgar Jones
This Affirmation is the first of a series of at least three parts. Part B will be the Confirmation, and Part C the Explanation of the fallacy of traditional Christian doctrine.
Chapter Six of the Fourth Gospel says absolutely nothing about the Lord's Supper (Holy Communion or Eucharist). Most Christians, reckoning that this gospel, unlike the others, does not contain the language of the Lord's Supper during the last Passover feast, assume that it is here in Chapter 6 instead. They are mistaken. Here, we will focus the Light on the pertinent utterances of the Lord, Light on Light, that those who do not hate the Light may see and understand.
It is useful to specify some major themes of the one who wrote the Fourth Gospel -- the Beloved Disciple. These will help us to integrate Chapter 6 into the whole and see it in its true Light. We also need to place this chapter correctly in the three year plus mission of the Lord because it will make a difference whether it is near the beginning or the end. It is to this latter task that we now turn.
I. The Point in Time of Chapter 6
The first question is: At what point in the Lord's three and one half year mission do we find the events of Chapter Six?
The Beloved Disciple marks the passage of time by means of the festivals of the Jews, especially that of the Passover. It is by the latter that we get a feel for the overall scope of the Lord's teaching activity. Following are the points of reference, which span four Passover festivals.
1. Jn. 2 FNT 13 Now the Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up into Jerusalem.
2. Jn. 5 FNT 1 After these [things] was the feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up into Jerusalem.
3. Jn. 6 FNT 3 So Jesus went up to the mountain, and sat there with his disciples. 4 Now it was near the passover, the festival of the Jews.
4, Jn. 11FNT 55 Now it was near the Passover of the Jews, and many went up to Jerusalem from the region, before the passover, . . ..
The Beloved Disciple identifies the second Passover only as "the feast of the Jews," but this, together with the general context, indicates that it is the Passover feast. The first Passover (2:13) came after the encounter with John the Baptist and the calling of his first disciples, Peter, Andrew, Philip and Nathaniel. It followed the wedding in Cana, and a few days spent in Capernaum with his mother, his brothers and his disciples. The second Passover (5:13) signals another year of his mission having past, and the third Passover (6:3) signals the second year. It follows that when we come to the subject Chapter 6, there remains less than one year until the fourth and final Passover (11:55) -- and the Crucifixion. The events of this chapter occurred during the last year.
Please observe that Jesus went up to Jerusalem for the first Passover festival. He also went up for the second one, then the Beloved Disciple indicates that he did not go up for the third Passover, but remained in Galilee. He went up later, for the Feast of Tabernacles, and then for the fourth, when they crucified him.
We can further specify the time of this chapter by seeing that the next festival mentioned by the Beloved Disciple, after the third Passover, is that of Tabernacles (or Booths, the harvest festival) in Chapter 7, vs. 2. The events of Chapter 6 therefore were all in the period between the third Passover (6:3) in the Spring, and the Festival of Tabernacles, in the Fall. Let's say that it was during the Summer at the beginning of the third and final complete year of the Teaching by our Lord. It would have been a hot day when he spoke to the Jews about eating his flesh and drinking his blood. It would also have been after the completion of more than two years of vigorous teaching activity, both in Galilee and Judea, and he held his countrymen accountable for at least beginning to understand his message. Rebukes were justified as they surely not hearing him for the first time!
II. Major Themes
The Beloved Disciple built his gospel around several major themes. These are keys to understanding Chapter 6. Here we list the more significant ones for present purposes.
There are other themes woven into the fabric of this document, but these seven are the themes that are primary to a correct view of Chapter 6. You can confirm this statement for yourself as we proceed. I have underlined each theme as it appears in the text below.
1. The Word or, in its New Testament Greek expression, the Logos. I will henceforth generally utilize the Greek term for it. This consists of the verbal revelations of the Lord, which are far more than mere words. The Logos is Truth personified in Jesus, whose person was with the Father in the beginning of creation. The Beloved Disciple introduces it in his very first statement, "In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with God, and the Logos was God (1:1)." And remember this: "The Logos became flesh, and dwelt among us. . . (1:14)." Yes, do remember this: "The Logos became flesh, and dwelt among us."
2. Moses and the Law. One purpose of the Beloved Disciple is to present Jesus and the Logos as superseding Moses and the Law. We find more than a hint of this, also in the first chapter: "For the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came into being through Jesus Christ (1:17)." We will see also that it is not simply a matter of superseding, but of superiority, as Truth is superior to the Law.
3. The Life eternal (ZOE). The Greek New Testament has Jesus appropriating the word ZOE for this. In the Logos, it specifies eternal, spiritual life as distinguished from the animal life of the flesh (PSUCHE). I will henceforth utilize ZOE, the word the Lord spoke, instead of "life" where appropriate. That the English translations generally utilize the one word, "life" for both ZOE and PSUCHE has resulted in much confusion because it tends to veil the Truth in each case.
4. The Jews. The Beloved Disciple utilizes this expression 63 times, though only 4 times from the lips of Jesus. Of these 4, only one (the last one) is negative to the Jews: My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my officers would have fought in order that I not be delivered up to the Jews; but now my kingdom is not from here (18:36). Sometimes the term is less specific, "the people." Sometimes it is more specific, "the Pharisees" for example, or "a ruler of the Jews."
5. The Jews' response to Jesus. This is a very important focus of the Beloved Disciple, of which he never fails to remind us. It a vital key to the correct reading of Chapter 6. The Lord had delivered the message to the Jews and, by Chapter 6, was holding them accountable. It was the time for their final examination!
6. The hour or "my hour." Once, instead of "my hour" it is "my time" (7:6,8). This was the hour when Jesus would know that his work on earth was complete and it was the time, or the hour, for him to leave earth and return to the Father. It is interesting to follow the references to this hour through the Fourth Gospel, as it gives us an intimation of the stage of completion of his work. It is sometimes uttered by Jesus, but more often included in the narrative as explanation by the Beloved Disciple. We find it in 2:4; 7:6,8; 7:30; 8:20; 12:23; 13:1 & 17:1. At 12:23, just prior to the fourth and final Passover, we find the Lord saying for the first time, The hour is come. It follows, therefore, that the events of Chapter 6, coming early in the Summer of that third full year of his mission, were not conducted under the pressure of the hour having come. That would be at the next and last Passover, about nine months later, where the narrative picks it up in Chapter 12.
7. Eating and Drinking. This activity is a central theme, and we find the Lord's focus more and more concentrated upon it as we approach and get into Chapter 6 with its references to eating my flesh and drinking my blood.
III. The Response of the Jews
Only Luke tells the Parable of the Unfruitful Fig Tree that gives a concise view of the Lord's hope for Israel. Luke has Jesus relate this Parable during the last journey to Jerusalem from Galilee. It's telling therefore occurred after the events of John's Chapter 6. A multitude accompanied him on this journey in the expectation that he would initiate the kingdom of God on his arrival in Jerusalem. He has just explained the necessity of repentance to avoid a national catastrophe, then he tells the parable to illustrate this necessity:
Lk. 13:6 FNT But he was saying this parable: A certain man has [a] fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. 7 So he said to his vinedresser: Behold from which three years I come seeking fruit on this tree and found none. Cut it down, why also waste the land? 8 But answering he said to him: Lord, leave it even this year, until I dig around it and throw dung, 9 and for result it may give fruit. Otherwise, cut it down.
The fig tree is the Jews, the nation, which had not borne the desired fruit after centuries of cultivation by the Father, who is the certain man. The Father has determined to cut down the tree. Jesus, as the vinedresser, entreats the Father to give the tree (nation) one more opportunity to bear fruit after he, Jesus, has cultivated it and put on fertilizer. Evidently the Father agrees, for what we see in the gospels is Jesus making a valiant effort to bring the nation of the Jews to repentance and fruitfulness.
This defines Jesus' fundamental commission that applies in all of the gospels, including that of the Beloved Disciple. The destiny of the entire nation of the Jews hinged on their response to his final efforts to bring them to repentance and fruitfulness. The Beloved Disciple understands this and is careful to document the Jews' response to the Lord, that was one of growing antipathy. Chapter 6 tells of a critical transaction in the Lord's efforts to bring them to repentance. Jesus came with a message for the nation that must supersede Moses and the Law to which the Jews were devoted, as they continue to be devoted to this day. Jesus knew that this would be a hard sell but one he came to undertake for the salvation of the unfruitful fig tree.
Here is an example of what I mean. Suppose that a political messiah appeared in the United States whose stated purpose was to supersede, by persuasion and not by violence, the American democratic system of governance with a new one inspired from heaven. Now, imagine the magnitude of his task as he undertook to wean the politicians and citizens away from devotion to the Fathers -- Washington, Jefferson et. al. and provide a monarchical constitution superseding the current democratic one and founded on himself as monarch. This should give you some feel for the humongous task before Jesus as he set out to supersede the Old Covenant of Moses and the Law with his New Covenant. Surely it would require nothing less than a worker of miracles!
We will return to the Beloved Disciple now and allow him to declare the progressive deterioration of a never thriving response of the Jews.
IV. The First Passover
In Chapter 2 of the Fourth Gospel, Jesus and his disciples attend a wedding at Cana, where he turned the water into wine, and announced to Mary that his hour had not yet come. He also introduces us to drinking activity. After a few days at Capernaum (2:12), the coming Passover motivates him to go to Jerusalem. When he arrived, he went to the Temple and cleansed it of the animal market set up in the temple to supply the sacrifices, including those of the Passover, driving out the sheep and the oxen and commanding the sellers of pigeons to "take these things away."
Now we find a radical difference between the Fourth Gospel and the Synoptics. The Beloved Disciple has Jesus cleansing the Temple during his first Passover, whereas the others place this event three years later during his last Passover, shortly before the crucifixion. There are good reasons for accepting both records, and my inclination is to see two such events, one here during Passover #1 and another during Passover #4. Barely over six months into his mission, he is already performing signs and has called disciples. He was not slack to assert his authority at any time, so why would this Temple market have been unacceptable to him during Passover #4 and acceptable during #1?
This surely sparked a Jewish response. We read that "the Jews" asked, "What sign do you show us for doing this? Then he replies,
Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it (2:19).
The Beloved Disciple explained that he had reference to the "temple of his body" but he did not explain this to the Jews to whom he was speaking. They understood that he had entered into their temple, had disrupted their lucrative market and spoke of destroying the temple. These are words and deeds that indicate at the outset of this gospel that Jesus intends to challenge the Jewish rulers, temple priests, and others and that he is not slow to offend them after less than a year into his mission. It becomes immediately clear that he does not have any intention of appeasing the rulers in Jerusalem.
Then the Beloved Disciple records this as a summary of the consequences of this incident:
Jn.2:23 FNT But when he was in Jerusalem in the Passover, in the festival, many believed in his name, seeing his signs that he was doing. 24 But Jesus himself was not believing himself [safe] with them because he was knowing everything, 25 and because he was not having need that anyone witness concerning man, for he himself was knowing what was in man.
This indicates that there was a division among the Jews concerning him, even at this early date. The temple cleansing, then, was not intended as a challenge to the whole nation, but only to the leaders in Jerusalem and at the temple in particular. We read that "many believed in him." It follows that the Lord has hope of rescuing the fruitless fig tree from the ax of God because many people of the Jews were believing. His strategy was clear as to his opposition to the Jerusalem rulers from the very start. But this is at an early point and he knows that the believing ones don't really understand as yet what he is about. That will take some time, and will require that he make himself perfectly clear.
He knew what was in their hearts! The Beloved Disciple later stated this division of the Jews very explicitly:
Jn.7:43 FNTSo [a] division came to pass in the crowd because of him, 44 and some of them were wanting to arrest him, but no one put their hands on him.
Jn.9:16 FNT Some therefore of the Pharisees were saying: This man is not from God, because he does not keep the Sabbath. But others were saying: How is [a] sinful man able to be doing such signs? And there was [a] division among them.
Jn.10:19 FNT [A] division again came to pass among the Jews because of these words. 20 And many among them were saying, He has [a] demon and is insane; why do you hear him? 21 Others were saying, These words are not [those] of [one] demon possessed. Is [a] demon able to open [the] eyes of [the] blind ?
We are seeing here how the Beloved Disciple is keeping us posted as to the response of the Jews. He does this throughout the gospel, although here we are primarily concerned only with what precedes Chapter 7. Knowing what was in the hearts of the Jewish rulers in Jerusalem, he did not make overtures to them but proceeded by acting and speaking in ways that were offensive. He knew they were offended, of course. This tells us that any hope he had for saving the fig free rested not in the rulers in Jerusalem, but with the common people or, as we might put it, with the man on the street. He is working toward a broad based positive response of the Jews, yet he deliberately offends the rulers.
We can better understand his strategy when we consider that there was considerable antipathy at work between the Galilean Jews and those in Judea and especially in Jerusalem. The Galileans wanted to assert their independence from the Romans, and felt that the Jews in Jerusalem, who were supported by Roman power and by Herod, were traitors to the nation. The Galileans therefore tended to favor a revolution that would displace the Temple cult and the Roman authority and establish the kingdom of God under a son of David. They were ripe for the gospel as they anticipated it. For their part, the rulers showed their basic stance with these words (and we also see the Beloved Disciple keeping us posted on the division):
Jn.11:45 FNT So, many of the Jews, the [ones] having come to Mariam and having seen what he did, believed in him. 46 But some of them departed to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus did. 47 So the chief-priests and the Pharisees gathered council and were saying: What do we do, for this man does many signs? 48 If we allow him thusly, all will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take both our place and nation.
They clearly wanted to preserve the status quo and refrain from rocking the boat. By the time of the first Passover, the strategy of the Lord was already set. He would make no attempt to reason with the Jerusalem leadership (chief priests and Pharisees), knowing their hearts and that it would be futile. Instead, he deliberately offends them! From a purely political perspective, this had the effect of eliciting an initial positive response from the population, and in particular from those forming his base in Galilee.
V. Nicodemus and John
Remaining in Jerusalem, the Lord had the famous encounter with Nicodemus, a "ruler of the Jews." The response of Nicodemus was unique for a ruler, and Jesus must have had hope for him, given the effort he made to influence him positively. After informing Nicodemus of the necessity of being begotten from above, and discovering that the man had not a clue what this meant, the Lord immediately rebuked him, saying,
Are you a teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand this (3:10)?
Then he continued the rebuke, saying that Nicodemus did not receive "our testimony." He explained that God so loved the world that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Then he concluded his transaction with Nicodemus, the man who had come to him 'by night' or in the dark, with these words that also were part of the rebuke:
JN.3:19 FNT And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world and men agape-loved the darkness rather than the light, for their works were wicked . 20 For everyone doing worthlessness hates the light and does not come to the light, that his works not be rebuked. 21 But the [one] doing the truth comes to the light, so that his works be revealed that they have been wrought by God.
Come to the Light, Nicodemus, you lover of the night! Christians tend to honor Nicodemus, but it is clear that he was, at best, a fence straddler. Jesus might have reasoned with him, implored, explained further -- but he knew this man! Nicodemus was unique, however, for he was one of the rulers (members of the Sanhedrin, probably) who wanted to learn more. His was another response to Jesus that the Beloved Disciple wants us to see.
After this, Jesus and his disciples left Jerusalem but remained in Judea, teaching and baptizing (3:22). The mission of the Baptist was to call the nation to repentance and to introduce Jesus. He had disciples also, and he and his followers constituted yet another faction in Judaism. But this one was unique in being pro Jesus. John explains that Jesus must increase while he must decrease (3:30), meaning that the mantle of testimony is passing from him to Jesus. He testifies that Jesus is "from above" and that Jesus gives testimony to what he has seen and heard (above).
According to John, Jesus utters the words of God, yet "no one receives his testimony." The Beloved Disciple continues to describe the response, or lack thereof, of the Jews to Jesus and his message. As to the message itself, John tells us what Jesus would declare repeatedly of himself, "He who believes the Son has ZOE eternal." This confirms the prescription for ZOE given by Jesus to Nicodemus (3:14-18), and explains what Jesus meant by believing in him. To believe in him means to receive his testimony, that consists of the "Logos of God (3:34)" that Jesus utters. Even more than just believing, it requires obeying what is heard and believed (3:36). In this brief statement (3:31-36), John summarizes a message that Jesus would expand and explain to the Jews, and later, through the Apostles, to the world.
The response of the Jews was not positive, for "no one receives his testimony." Nevertheless, they have been well forewarned, for "he who does not obey the Son shall not see ZOE but the wrath of God abides on him (3:36).
VI. Samaritans and Galileans
Moving into Chapter 4, the Beloved Disciple continues to focus on the theme of the response of the Jews to Jesus. There is the strong suggestion of hostility from the Pharisees (4:1-3). Jesus' influence in Judea is growing, and his following has exceeded that of John. The Pharisees are watching events closely and in a threatening manner so that the Lord retreated from Judea when he knew that they (the Pharisees) were becoming more hostile. It was in Judea that the Pharisees were strongest and wielded major influence so the intimation is that the Lord, whose hour has not yet come, was moving away from them for safety. We first heard of the Pharisees when they questioned John (1:24). We next heard of them when Nicodemus was so identified (3:1), and now they show up as a definite threat.
Passing through Samaria on the way to Galilee, the Beloved Disciple wants us to know that, contrary to the hostile response of the Jews, the Samaritans are receptive. He has the transaction with the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well that soon resulted in many of them believing after hearing him speak (4:41). It was there that, doubtless encouraged by that response, the Lord told his disciples that the fields were white for harvest (4:35).
We pick up here on another theme of the Beloved Disciple -- that of eating and drinking, utilized usually in a metaphorical manner. Before the trip to Jerusalem for the first Passover, the Lord had turned the water into wine at the wedding at Cana. On drinking the wine, the the response of the wedding guests (in the words of the master of ceremonies) was to call it "the good wine." It was superior to what was first served! Cana was in Galilee, so that this can be interpreted as a positive response of the Galileans to the "good wine" of Jesus, that was better than any other. This miracle also suggests that the gospel of Jesus is the good wine that is superior to the wine first served, which consists of Moses and the Law.
At Jacob's well, Jesus tells the Samaritan woman that if she had asked, he would have given her 'living water." Every one who drinks from Jacob's will will thirst again (4:13), but "Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. The water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to ZOE eternal (4:14). This is a veiled statement of the superiority of Jesus and the Logos over Moses and the Law, for it is in the writing of Moses that we learn of Jacob who, as one of the Patriarchs of the Jews, here represents the Old Covenant. Those who drink Jacob's water (or that of Moses) will thirst again, but those who drink the Living Water of Jesus will never thirst.
Then Jesus announced that salvation is from the Jews (one of his four utterances of "the Jews") but immediately moves on to say the hour is coming when neither on this mountain (Mt. Gerazim) or in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. This informs us that the temple cults in Jerusalem and on Mt. Gerazim have a bleak future and that the worship of the Father is being divorced from any location and centered in the Spirit. The reason? Because the hour is coming and now is when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. We will learn later that the words I have spoken to you are spirit and ZOE-life (6:63). This is a radical statement asserting that the Living Water of Jesus, which is the Logos of ZOE, is to supplant both of the Mosaic cults centered on Gerazim and Moriah (the temple Mount in Jerusalem).
It is to this Samaritan woman that Jesus entrusts the task of introducing him to the Samaritans, and it is to her that he first acknowledges his identity as the Messiah. Isn't that amazing? To a Samaritan and a woman (who was a sinner), Jesus first reveals himself! All of this serves the Beloved Disciple's purpose of contrasting the favorable response of the Samaritans in Samaria with the hostile response of the Jews, or the Pharisees, in Judea and Jerusalem. Compare Nicodemus with the Samaritan woman!
After only two days with the Samaritans, Jesus (with his entourage) moves on into Galilee, and to Cana, where he had turned the water into wine. Again, the Beloved Disciple points to the positive response of the Galileans, saying that they welcomed him, having also been to Jerusalem at the Passover and having seen all that he had done (4.45). This would have included his cleansing of the temple. The fact that they welcome him in this knowledge emphasizes the hostile attitude of the Galileans towards the Judea Jews and the rulers in Jerusalem, which I have already stated. At the very least, they are approaching Jesus in the belief that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. It is there in Cana, in Galilee, that a royal official from Capernaum believes the Logos and receives the remote healing of his son. Mark up another plus for Galilee!
VII. The Second Passover
The Beloved Disciple is very selective in choosing what to record. It is becoming clearer that he has a constant appeal to the theme of the response of the Jews to Jesus and his Logos. So, after the first full year into his mission, Jesus returns to Jerusalem for the next Passover feast. Jews from all over the world will be there, and it is there that Jesus will gain the widest hearing for his Logos. In returning, he knows he is in hostile territory again and that there are risks, for his hour has not yet come. But he is depending on his enemies to abide by both the Law of Moses and the Roman authority to protect him from the Jews while he is there.
He seeks no accord with his enemies, for he knows what is in their hearts. Instead, he continues to deliberately provoke them for, as soon as he returns, he challenges them on the basis of their devotion to Sabbath keeping. In so doing, he mounts an attack on their devotion to Moses and the Law. The Jerusalem establishment included Jews who were sticklers for this Law of the Sabbath as delivered through Moses and who carefully prescribed every detail of Sabbath activity, including what a person could lift and carry, and how far he could carry it.
The major factor standing between Jesus and full acceptance by the Jews is their devotion to Moses and the Law. Jesus intends to supersede Moses with his Truth, but could not do so while people remained disciples of Moses. It was therefore necessary that he make this a major issue and challenge the Jews to accept him as the Messiah who has come to replace Moses and the Law with Truth. There is great tension over this issue, but it must be resolved if the unfruitful fig tree, (Israel) is to be salvaged from the ax of God. We will find in what follows that it is an issue he repeatedly stresses in his transactions with the Jews.
So the Lord first went to the Pool of Bethzatha, where there were many handicapped persons, blind, lame and paralyzed (5:3) who sought benefit from the supposed healing powers of the water. It was a Sabbath, and he immediately healed a man, a paralytic for thirty-eight years. This was an infraction of the Law as interpreted by the Pharisees and scribes and others of the temple cult. He had violated the Sabbath! Then, to make the offense more insidious yet, he commanded the man, in demonstration of his healing, to take up your pallet and walk. But this lifting and carrying of a burden was one of the Sabbath prohibitions. The Jews saw it, and informed the man that he was performing an unlawful act. When he explained, they wanted to know who had told him to do this. Jesus later identified himself to the man, and the man went and told the Jews.
The Beloved Disciple lets us know that this is why the Jews persecuted Jesus (5:17), and then tells us that they sought to kill him after Jesus had explained to them My Father is working still, and I am working. There were two reasons -- Jesus had broken the Sabbath, and had called God his Father! So the Lord adds provocation to provocation. The response of the Jews has become exceedingly hostile to the point of being homicidal, and Jesus is deliberately provoking them! He knows their hearts, knows what will offend them, and yet he chooses to do it.
In this encounter, Jesus was challenging their professed devotion to Moses, who had delivered the Sabbath Law. He was asserting his position as Lord of the Sabbath. This was not in the least acceptable to the Jews, but it was necessary for the Lord to gain a transference of their devotion from Moses and the Law to himself and his Logos and Truth. This is the response theme that I defined above, and a positive response is absolutely crucial to their salvation.
The balance of Chapter 5 consists of a lengthy discourse delivered to those Jews in Jerusalem who had objected to his Sabbath activity. He does several things, including pronouncing final statements of the lack of positive response of the Jews and explaining this. During this discourse he touches on several hot buttons. We have just seen him pushing the Sabbath hot button, but there are others. He continues to emphasize his relation as a son to the Father, and claims a commission similar to what that of a son serving as his Father's apprentice, doing what he sees the Father doing (vs. 19). He then makes the astonishing claim that, as the Father raises the dead and gives them ZOE, so he, the Son, gives ZOE to whom he will (vs. 21) and He (the Father) has given all judgment to the Son (vs. 22) that everyone honor the Son, even as they honor the Father!
Do you see why I say that he is challenging their devotion to Moses? Moses was a great servant of God, but Jesus is claiming that the Father intends that men honor the Son, Jesus, even as they honor the Father, God! So much greater than the honor of Moses is that of the Son!
These are fighting words to the Jews! For all of this places him in a category of equality of function to the Father and in submission only to the Father. They are already angry that he assumes the relation of Son to the Father, but now he continues his offensive -- and offensive it surely is!
It is a temptation to digress into the theological questions raised by these claims, but this would not prepare us for Chapter 6. Let it suffice to state the formula for ZOE that Jesus delivers to these antagonists. The essence of this formula is:
Jn.5:24 FNT Truly truly I say to you that the [one] hearing my word (Logos) and believing the [one] having sent me has eternal zoe-life , and does not come into judgment, but is moved out of death into zoe-life.
This is the complete prescription for ZOE. The Logos is the essential ZOE-giving element, and to receive that eternal ZOE two things are required, and only two: hear the Logos, and believe the Logos! When the Lord qualified believing as believing the [one] having sent me he identifies the Logos, the Word as spoken by him, as being not his words, but the Logos of the Father who sent him. Failure to believe Jesus is failure to believe the Father!
In vs. 38 we find the Lord stating the response of the Jews. He tells them:
. . . and his word you do not have abiding in you, because he whom that [one] has sent, in this [one] do you not believe.
And again, vs. 40,
And you do not want to come to me in order that you have zoe-life.
Yet again, vs. 42:
. . . but I have known you that you do not have the agape-love of God in yourselves.
And again yet, vs. 43,44:
The anger of the already angry Jews was magnified exceedingly by the Sabbath challenge and now he is, repeatedly, berating them and telling them that they do not have the love of God in them. Is it then a surprise that they, very religious men proud of their status in Israel and before God as they believe, are driven to homicidal anger? And they cannot win by debate -- what healings have they performed with a word? Here is a man who has attracted a considerable following from the people that should be following them, and they have great concern as to their future status. Their response must eventually include his elimination from the scene. Yet our Lord continues to antagonize them!
I am come in the name of my father, and you do not receive me; if another come in his own name, that [one] you will receive. How are you able to believe, receiving glory from each other, and the glory of the only God you do not seek?
But even more offensive, he next challenges the sincerity of their devotion to Moses and the Law. This is hallowed ground for these fellows, but the Lord makes it a battle ground.
He begins by reference to the scriptures, saying to them, "You search the scriptures, for you think that in them you have ZOE eternal . . .." These 'scriptures' include Moses and the prophets, but the immediate focus is limited to Moses, and he is telling them that Moses (the scriptures) cannot give them ZOE, but he can if they would but come to him instead of to Moses. The challenge here drives at the very heart of their religion -- their devotion to Moses -- and accuses them of not even listening to that hero of their faith. Hear him (vs. 45,46,47):
Be not supposing that I will accuse you to the father, the [one] accusing you is Moses, in whom you have hoped. For if you were believing Moses, you would have believed me; for concerning me did that [one] write. But if you do not believe the writings of that [one], how will you believe in my words?
The response of the Jews, the leaders in Jerusalem who were attached to the Temple cult, is now set. It is one of bitter hatred! They do not honor Jesus, but he has told them that he who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him! They honor Moses, but he has told them that they do not believe Moses, for if they did, they would believe in him of whom Moses wrote! Their two cardinal professed devotions -- to God and to Moses, are denied by Jesus. And as if this were insufficient, we have seen him claim authority over the Sabbath Law as delivered by Moses, which was one of their primary objects of religious devotion. These people believed in God, in Moses, and held the Sabbath sacred. Jesus has challenged them by denying that they are really devoted to any of this, and by claiming authority and honor comparable to that of the Father. They cannot forget the day he assumed authority in their temple and scattered their inventory of merchandise.
Does this sound a bit like modern churchmen? Of course it does, for they occupy the same positions in world society as that held by the Jews in First Century Jerusalem. They honor Moses, the Law and the Sabbath, and claim to honor God. It is a pattern in the world that never disappears.
VIII. The Third Passover
All of the above sets the stage for Chapter 6 and the supposed Eucharistic language of the Lord therein. We see how the hostility of the Jews (the Temple cult) has become acute, and how it is that the Lord seeks to transfer their devotion from Moses (whom they profess but do not really believe) to himself by assuming a position of superiority to Moses. The issue is a complex one according to which the Jews must accept a new authority and a new administration. But this, they believe, will result in a violent confrontation with the Romans on whom the Jerusalem Jews depend for protection of their lucrative Temple livestock trade and their offices and the maintenance of the temple itself. The complexity is greatly magnified by the hostility of the Galileans towards the Judeans in Jerusalem. The Lord is also seeking to utilize this hostility in preparation for the assumption of power that he intends to accomplish by non violent means.
The Lord continues to be vulnerable while in Jerusalem, in the midst of the hostiles, but he has a certain immunity from violence to his person because he does have a growing following and his enemies must not spark violence. Their positions depend on the good graces of the Romans (i.e., Pilate), that do not like to see or hear of violence in the domain. So he appears to have his enemies in a bind according to which, if they do nothing, the whole nation may rally behind him and put them out of office but, if they take action against him, a violent confrontation with his supporters may result that will spark Roman action to depose them or, as they expressed it, "The Romans will come and take away out place and our nation."
The Passover season has come again, for the third time since the start of his mission, but this time the Lord does not go up to Jerusalem. Doubtless the threat to his person was a factor, because the Beloved Disciple tells us, in connection with the Feast of Tabernacles a few months later, that the Lord would not go about in Judea because the Jews sought to kill him (7:1). His hour has not yet come. Nevertheless, we come again to the third Passover (6:4) and instead of going to Jerusalem, we find the Lord on "the other side" of the Sea of Galilee" with a multitude having followed him there.
He has returned to Galilee, where he has generally received an enthusiastic response through two years of his mission and this multitude bears testimony to that fact. We can believe that this is a mixed multitude, consisting of both Galileans and Judeans, including Pharisees and Herodians from Jerusalem, whom he has antagonized. They will want to keep a close watch on him and his activities, and have have become a part of the multitude in Galilee.
By going to the other side of the Sea, he has left Galilee and entered into Decapolis or Gaulanitis, for the Sea of Galilee separates these domains from Galilee (a territory of the Land of Promise). He is, in essence, in a foreign land. He is setting the stage for a further convincing demonstration of his superiority to Moses. For this purpose, we need a Passover, as Moses led the people out immediately after the death angel passed over their homes in the foreign land, Egypt. So it is the time of the Passover once again. We need a mountain that represents Sinai on which Moses received the Law; we need a sea to be crossed into the Promised Land which, in this case, will be represented by the Sea of Galilee and explains why the Lord crossed to the other side of this sea at this time -- in preparation for returning to the Promised Land according to the pattern of Moses. We also need a multitude to feed, as Moses fed the multitude whom he led out of Egypt. And as Moses fed the people by the miraculous "bread from heaven" (the manna, Exodus 16:4), so we also need a miracle to feed this multitude that has followed Jesus to this mountain across the sea from the Promised Land.
We see, therefore, as we enter into Chapter 6, that the stage has been set for Jesus to demonstrate in every way his supersession of Moses. Most of the Beloved Disciple's themes will also come into play in Chapter 6.
Jesus takes a position on a high place (the hills) with his disciples. The theme of eating and drinking appears immediately when Philip asks the Lord, "Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat (6:5)?" There follows the account of the feeding of this multitude consisting of five thousand men (and perhaps women and children in addition) with five barley loaves and two fishes (6:6-13). Afterwards, as the Lord's direction, they gathered up twelve baskets of fragments of the five barley loaves so that nothing be lost, the people having eaten their fill. Moses could feed a multitude in the wilderness; so also could Jesus. However, the bread of Jesus was better than the bread of Moses because the latter would not keep. If they tried to save it (except in preparation for the Sabbath) it would rot and spoil (Exodus 16:20,21).
The Beloved Disciple has already told us that this multitude flocked to Jesus "because they saw the signs which he did on those who were diseased (6:2)." Now he informs us that the people, having eaten to the full of the miraculous supply of bread and fish, are at last fully convinced. They say, "This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world (6:14).
This is good, yes?
No, it appears not, because they are about to crown him the King of Israel by force, which is contrary to the Lord's intention (6:15). He next withdraws into the hills by himself, as Moses withdrew to the mountain of God (Exodus 19:3). This event marks a definite change in the relation between the Lord and "the people" of Galilee whose support he has hitherto encouraged and accepted. It will also lead soon to a confrontation with that party of hostiles whom the Beloved Disciple repeatedly describes as "the Jews."
But first, he must demonstrate to his disciples that he excels Moses because he does not want to lose them in the confrontations with the Jews that are to follow. Moses could part the waters of the Red Sea so that the people could cross out of Egypt on dry land. This was a most significant sign, but Jesus can best it, because he can walk on the water. So, that evening, his disciples despair of finding him again that day and embark in a boat to cross back over the sea to Galilee, a territory of the Land of Promise. Imagine their astonishment when, in the midst of the night and during a storm, they encounter Jesus walking on the water, crossing the sea by foot! They took him into the boat and proceeded to the Galilean shore. Moses had to part the waters but Jesus simply walked on them!
We continue now with 6:22, and point out that this multitude that will now pursue him around to the other side of the Sea are being described at first as "the people (vs. 22, 24)." It is the same designation applied in prior references to the multitude (vs. 10, 14). This is shortly to change, as the Beloved Disciple describes them, or perhaps some portion of them, as "the Jews" beginning with vs. 41 and later in vs. 52. Attitudes will also change, as the Lord diagnoses their interest and shakes their facade of acceptance.
There is the temptation to digress into many other issues, for the context is pregnant with them, but we are interested here primarily in the response of the Jews (the people) and will focus only on that and the themes of Moses and eating and drinking. It was the day after the feeding of the multitude, and these (the people) were looking for Jesus on the East side of the Sea, but not finding him they entered into boats from Tiberias (vs. 23) and crossed back over the Sea to Galilee seeking the Lord. They found him, and the Lord immediately made an observation:
Jn.6:25 FNT And having found him on the other side of the sea they said to him, Rabbi, when did you come [here]? 26 Jesus answered them and said: Truly truly I say to you, you seek me not because you see signs, but because you ate of the bread and were filled. 27 Be working not for the perishing food, but for the food abiding to eternal zoe-life , which the son of man will give to you; for God the father has sealed this [one].
A fascinating series of transactions follow as the Lord, having entered this diagnosis of their interest (until now, they are yet 'the people'). Keep in mind the fact that he has, just on the preceding day, fed this multitude by the multiplication of five loaves and two fishes. The Lord directs the course of what is to follow by urging them to work not for food that perishes but for what endures to eternal ZOE (vs. 27). They respond by referring to the feeding of the multitude by Moses by means of manna, described as 'bread from heaven (Exod. 16:4).' This is precisely the issue that the Lord intends to address, and we can see how he has led them into this particular topic. It is to claim his superiority to Moses, and his intention to supersede Moses.
The issue is joined here precisely between Jesus and Moses, consistent with his strategy, and he responds as follows:
Jn.6:32 FNT So Jesus said to them: Truly truly I say to you, Moses did not give you bread from heaven, but my father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the [one] coming down from heaven and giving zoe-life to the world.
They ask for some of this bread, and the Lord responds:
Jn.6:35 FNT Jesus said to them: I am the bread of zoe-life; the [one] coming to me will not hunger, and the [one] believing in me will not thirst ever. 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and do not believe. 37 All that the father gives me will come to me, and the [one] coming to me I will not cast out.
Here we point to the further diagnosis, because the Lord knows that these people do not really believe in him, but if they would only believe, they would never thirst. Then he explains something that we have needed to understand: The Father has given him certain ones, and they will come to him, but these persons are not among them, because they do not believe, even though they have seen him and the signs he has performed by feeding them.
They take exception because of this claim that he is the bread that came down from heaven, the real bread and not that of Moses (the manna, or the Law). Consequently the Beloved Disciple, from this point, reverts to designating them as "the Jews." The Lord, for his part, is not now attempting to persuade them of anything, but only to get the facts in the record. He knows they are not going to 'come to him' or believe in him. Their professed trust in Moses cannot be shaken, not even by one who has fed them, a great multitude, with five loaves and two fishes. From this point, everything we read is for the sake of his disciples, including us who have appeared two thousand years later to heed the Logos. Knowing that these Jews do not and will not believe in him, he deliberately provokes them in a confrontation just as deliberately staged.
There is reason to believe that these Jews include representatives from Jerusalem but these are primarily Galilean Jews, not the ones who previously opposed him in Jerusalem. We know this because they are already acquainted with Jesus and his immediate family. "We know this guy! And he claims to have come down from heaven (vs. 42)?" Now they have changed their attitudes radically, from one of seeming admiration to one of hostility. That will not change and we will find the Lord using this fact to his advantage, to serve his purposes. So instead of seeking to convert or persuade, he courts their hostility and pours fuel on the flames of their anger. There was always a segment of Galilean Jews that rejected him. These were, from the beginning, those in Nazareth who knew him well and were not open to the persuasion that he was anyone special. They would have been among those who sought to kill him after his first sermon in the synagogue in Nazareth (Lk. 4:28-30). Those Galilean Jews were surely included in this multitude.
Another interesting comparison of Jesus with Moses is in the matter of the people and their murmuring against them. The people had murmured against Moses (Exodus 14:12, 16:3, 17:3) whom they feared had lead them out into the wilderness to starve for lack of food; now, in a similar context, a multitude murmurs against Jesus (vs. 41,43).
The theme of life and death also intrudes at this point. He has told them that whoever eats of the food he gives will endure to eternal ZOE. The bread that he gives, the bread from heaven, gives ZOE to the world (vs. 33). He continues to stress his supersession of Moses with these words:
Jn.6:47 FNT Truly truly I say to you, the [one] believing has eternal zoe-life. 48 I am the bread of zoe-life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread coming down from heaven, in order that anyone who eat of it also not die. 51I am the zoe-living bread having come down out of heaven. If anyone eat of this bread, he will zoe-live to eternity. But the bread that I will give is my flesh in behalf of the zoe-life of the world.
The issue is clearly joined. Is it the bread of Jesus, or the bread of Moses? That of Jesus is ever so much more efficacious, for that of Moses did not give life -- those who ate of it nevertheless died -- but whoever eats of the bread that Jesus gives will live forever! The Lord has hitherto made believing him (vs. 47) the key to eternal ZOE, but now he makes a subtle shift and it can only be for the primary purpose of further testing and / or provocation. He is the bread that comes down from heaven and one must eat this bread to receive its promise -- eternal ZOE. That bread is his flesh!
How does one eat this bread?
One must eat his flesh? The Jews then dispute and discuss among themselves asking how they are to do that?
Do you remember what I asked you to remember earlier -- the statement of the Beloved Disciple in Jn. 1:14,"The Logos became flesh, and dwelt among us. . . (1:14)?" This gives the key to the interpretation of the following transactions. His flesh is the Logos, and to eat his flesh is to receive the Logos and believe it, as the Lord teaches in Jn. 5:24 and elsewhere. We know what he means by this cannibalistic utterance -- he means that one must 'eat his words' or 'eat the Logos' that is the Word become flesh to receive eternal ZOE.
We know what he means because the Beloved Disciple has already told us. But 'the Jews" do not know, and the Lord does not explain. And explanation would be futile. And, even though his disciples have heard the key, they have not properly registered it and will not immediately apply it to the current transaction with the Jews. We know that the Lord is speaking metaphorically, but neither the Jews nor his disciples know this, and the Lord does not explain. Therefore, they must understand him to be speaking literally. They hear him saying that they must actually eat of his flesh to Zoe live.
The next step is the key by which we understand that the Lord can only be telling them such things for the purposes of both provoking the Jews who are not going to believe in him in any case, and of enlightening us, his disciples. We have come to the key utterance that Christendom interprets to be a reference to the Lord's Supper. He states:
Jn.6:53 FNT So Jesus said to them: Truly truly I say to you: unless you eat the flesh of the son of man and drink his blood you do not have zoe-life in yourselves. 54 The [one] gnawing my flesh and drinking my blood has zoe-life eternal, and I will raise him up in the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. 56 The [one] gnawing my flesh and drinking my blood abides in me and I in him. 57 Just as the zoe-living father sent me and I live through the father, also the [one] gnawing me will live through me. 58 This is the bread having come down out of heaven, not just as the fathers ate and died. The [one] gnawing this bread will zoe-live to eternity.
Drink my blood? Wasn't it offensive enough to speak of "eating (gnawing) my flesh" without adding this bit about "drinking my blood?" This is the ultimate challenge to their confidence in Moses, for Moses wrote:
The identification of blood with life was an ancient tradition springing from the Noahide covenant (Gen. 9-4-6). Moses has put it to the fore and made the eating (or drinking) of blood an abomination, because the life is in the blood. 'Blood' is a major theme throughout the Bible, and especially in the OT where it occurs more than four hundred times. According to Moses, the blood of sacrifices was to be rendered to God on the altar, and the blood of slain beasts was to be poured out upon the ground and covered with dust. Never was it to be consumed! And whoever did so was subject to being cut off from among the people. An animal slain to be eaten must be bled to death, so that the life had departed from it with the blood. If not so slain, the life, that is, the blood, was still in the flesh and it must not be eaten! Whoever did such a thing must be severed from the people of God.
Lev. 17: "If any man of the house of Israel or of the strangers that sojourn among them eats any blood, I will set my face against that person who eats blood, and will cut him off from among his people.
 For the life of the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it for you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement, by reason of the life.
 Therefore I have said to the people of Israel, No person among you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger who sojourns among you eat blood.
 Any man also of the people of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among them, who takes in hunting any beast or bird that may be eaten shall pour out its blood and cover it with dust.
 For the life of every creature is the blood of it; therefore I have said to the people of Israel, You shall not eat the blood of any creature, for the life of every creature is its blood; whoever eats it shall be cut off.
It is in the knowledge of this prohibition, by Moses, of partaking of blood that Jesus has told them that they must both eat his flesh and drink his blood, for unless they do so, they have no life in them! The life is in the blood and they must drink his blood to receive his ZOE-life! He has led them into this by first speaking of eating his flesh, only so as to pair it with the drinking of blood. What an offense to a disciple of Moses!
Eat his flesh and drink his blood?
Yes! To this very day, this is a maximum offense to the Jews, who require every meat ingested to be bled to death so as to remove the blood. Otherwise, it is not kosher.
But compare this with what he has already prescribed for his disciples, that we may have eternal ZOE:
Jn.5:25 FNT Truly truly I say to you that [the] hour comes and now is when the dead will hear the cry of the son of God and those having heard will live. 26 For as the father has zoe-life in himself, likewise also to the son he has given zoe-life to be having in himself. 27 And he gave him authority to be doing judgment, because he is [a] son of man. 28 Be not marveling at this, that [the] hour comes in which all those in the graves will hear his voice, 29 and those having done good will come out to [the] resurrection of zoe-life, [but] those having done [as a practice] worthless [things] will come out to [the] resurrection of judgment.
Jn.6:54 FNT The [one] gnawing my flesh and drinking my blood has zoe-life eternal, and I will raise him up in the last day.
In Chapter 5 he has already explained that the key to eternal ZOE is hearing the cry (voice) of the son of God. It is those who receive and believe the Logos who have eternal ZOE. And now he has changed the prescription?
No. As we continue to read, we learn first that his disciples are murmuring and saying, This is a hard saying. Who can listen to it?
The Lord, understanding that they were offended along with the Jews, immediately explained:
The flesh profits nothing!
Jn.6:63 FNT The spirit is the [one] making zoe-alive, the flesh profits nothing. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are zoe-life. 64 But there are some among you who do not believe. For Jesus had known from the beginning who are those not believing and who is the [one] who will deliver him up.
It is the words! The Words! The Logos! And, from vs. 64, it is believing the Logos that produces ZOE eternal.
Don't you understand now what Jesus did here in Chapter 6?
He set a screen, according to which one absolutely must choose between him and Moses, between Logos and Torah! And he has done it by a teaching that will have the maximum negative effect on everyone who continues to hold Torah to be sacred! It is a very fine screen!
The Beloved Disciple immediately informs us that, after this, many of his disciples drew back and no longer accompanied him. It was a very effective screen. This does not include the Twelve, for they have remained. Jesus now wants them to confirm their devotion. So he immediately asks them,
Jn.6:67 FNT Don't you also want to be going away?
And Peter responds,
Jn.6:68 FNT Lord, towards whom will we depart? You have words of eternal zoe-life. 69
And we have believed and have known that you are the holy [one] of God.
So there remained this small number of chosen disciples, men who have been receiving the teaching for more than two years, who stick to the Lord after the application of this screening.
There are those Jews who associate with the Temple cult in Jerusalem and Judea, including the scribes, Pharisees and priests. They never believed in Jesus because he was a threat to their cushy positions as lackeys for the Roman authority but who, nevertheless, claim the high ground as devotees of Moses and the Torah. They think of themselves as the rightful heirs to the Old Covenant, and they alone maintain the temple sacrifices, festivals and feasts. We will label them, with their compatriots, J-1. There was also resident in Judea a segment of the people that were willing to consider the messianic claims. They were seeking to identify him whom they call "the prophet" as prophesied by Moses and the prophets of the Old Testament, and actually believed in Jesus for a brief period. We will label this grouping as J-2. Then there was a very small number of individuals who believed in Jesus and remained true to him to the end. The Beloved Disciple, Lazarus, and his sisters, Mary and Martha, were foremost in this small group, that we label J-3. We summarize these in this table:
Judea and Jerusalem
The situation was different in Galilee, the territory of Jesus' upbringing. There, a small segment of the people, mostly in and near Nazareth, rejected Jesus outright because they knew him and his family and were unwilling to believe that someone who had lived an ordinary life in their midst could be God's chosen messiah. Familiarity breeds contempt! This group we label G-1. Then there were the great multitude of the people that were eagerly seeking to find "the prophet" that was also the son of David who was to restore the kingdom in Israel. They were zealous believers in Moses and the Torah but they differed from the Jews in Judea or Jerusalem because they had little to lose by armed rebellion against the Romans. They were patriots itching for a fight. This large group is G-2. Finally, there was the much smaller group of persons whom we may designate the Lord's chosen ones, from which he named the Twelve Apostles. They, like the larger group of people, were also seeking the kingdom and itching for a fight but, because Jesus had chosen them and they were tutored directly by him, they were beginning to realize his vision of the kingdom. They are the ones to whom we are chiefly indebted for the preservation of the Logos in the early stages of gospel proclamation, and we label them G-3. To make these categories clear, here they are in tabular form.
The overall groupings display a similar pattern, but Galilee and Judea must be distinguished to understand the interplay of hostility and acceptance, of unbelief and belief, of the different segments of the people. Galilee was a fertile ground for talk of revolution behind "the prophet" so as to restore the rule of David. So, it is probably by design rather than coincidence that Jesus began his ministry in Galilee and all of The Twelve, with the possible exception of Judas, were Galilean rather than Judean. The Galilean multitudes are the one who sought to force the kingship on Jesus. The Beloved Disciple is careful to keep us informed of this fact, and of the Lord's avoidance of their 'draft.' The Judean multitude were much slower to consider Jesus to be a candidate for the throne of David, but even they came around and we see them joining in the excitement of the Triumphal Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem. But we also know that the Lord refused their draft also.
Knowing that there were very few of either Galileans of Judeans who were willing to accept him on the basis of his vision of the kingdom, but that it was essential, before his hour had come, to have done with these issues so as to retain in his confidence the very few of both Galileans or Judeans who where receptive to the Logos even at the expense of the Torah, the Lord set the screen of Chapter 6. If there were those who would be ultimately faithful to proclaim the Logos to the world, they must be weaned from Moses and his Torah. This was absolutely necessary, therefore the deliberate provocation of the multitude of the Jews by means of the screening of Chapter 6 was essential.
It was essential, but would it result in wiping out everything? Would all his efforts be wasted, his efforts during more than two years of intense teaching of his disciples and vigorous proclamation to the people? He did not know, and so after the multitudes abandoned him, he turned to the few remaining and said:
Jn.6:67 FNT Don't you also want to be going away?
It was impetuous Simon Peter who passed the test and spoke for the few when he responded immediately,
Jn.6:68 FNT Lord, towards whom will we depart? You have words of eternal zoe-life. 69 And we have believed and have known that you are the holy [one] of God.
The simple fisherman from Galilee, with these words, secured for the Lord the final success of his mission. Only a few months remained, and another test for Peter and the Twelve, but the Lord could with confidence truly say,
Jn.6:39 FNT This is the will of the [one] having sent me, that of all he has given me I not lose [any] of it, but raise it up in the last day.
Jn.17:12 FNT When I was with them, I was keeping them in your name that you have given me, and I guarded [them] and no one of them perished except the son of destruction, in order that the Scripture be fulfilled.
The words, "Eat my flesh" and "Drink my blood" in Chapter 6 of the Fourth Gospel constitute a screening mechanism by means of which the Lord eliminated from the body of believers everyone who was unwilling to consider his supersession of Moses. These words have no reference whatever to the Lord's Supper, and it is asinine to make this connection.
This Part A, Affirmation, is concluded. With Part B (to be posted soon) we will continue to survey the next chapters of the Fourth Gospel so see how the Beloved Disciple confirms what he has thus far affirmed. Thereafter, at least one more, Part C, is planned in which we will focus on the fallacy of traditional Christian doctrine as it applies to Chapter 6 of the Fourth Gospel.
So there is Affirmation, Confirmation and Explanation of the fallacies of Christendom.