Monday, May 31, 2010



Verse 63
It is the Spirit that gives life; the flesh is of no avail. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.'"

I have a few observations I would like to make about this verse

If it were a figurative explanation then the rest of the text – the words of Jesus, their implication and the responses of the witnesses make no sense in my opinion.

Do we need to eat the flesh and drink the blood of Jesus Christ in order to have eternal life?
If the answer is yes, then can we say that His flesh does indeed profit us?
If the answer is yes, then does verse 63 of John 6 mean that it counts as nothing to eat Jesus’ flesh and to drink His blood?
Does Jesus’ flesh “count for nothing?”

It is interesting that Jesus uses MY flesh during his discourse except where He is making a distinction in V63 by using the words THE flesh. With this in mind, I hope to stay within the Biblical context in order to understand ‘the flesh’.

When Jesus says "the flesh profits nothing" it refers to mankind’s inclination to think using only what their natural human reason would tell them rather than what God would tell them or put another way the carnal understanding of fallen human flesh is incapable of grasping spiritual realities
(see John 8:15–16 You judge according to the flesh, I judge no one. Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone that judge, but I and he who sent me.
and also in Matt 16:17
Matt 16:17 And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.

I see a parallel here with John 6:63 and Matt 16:17, John 8:15-16 and 1 Cor 2:12-14 with the word flesh (man) and spirit (God) and flesh (man) and Father (God).

When you look at Romans 8:4-6 we see spirit and flesh used in the same context it is used in verse 63 … who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.

So the “flesh” being referred to here is the flesh of Adam that we have inherited from him. We are all born of the flesh, because we are all “in” Adam. We need to be born again in order to be “in” Christ, the second Adam. Because, in Adam, all die. In Christ, all are made alive. So, when we are born of the flesh, it is of no avail. It is only when we are born again of the Spirit that it is of avail. The Spirit gives life, the flesh profits nothing. Not Jesus’ flesh, but our flesh.

Jesus is also saying, "It's the Spirit that gives life," and so wait until the Spirit is given. When the Spirit comes down at Pentecost, but especially when the spirit of Christ raises the body of Christ from the dead, it will be the Holy Spirit that makes Christ's flesh and blood holy, glorious and powerful as food for our souls and bodies. Not just the flesh alone. "And the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life." What words? That you've got to eat my flesh and drink my blood, those words. It's because of the Holy Spirit that we receive life in that flesh and now it all comes together. There's no either/or; there's a both/and. Verse 63 tells me that Christ's flesh and blood will be so powerful and animating for supernatural life.

In the latter part of verse 63, Jesus says that the words he just spoke to them, i.e., eating his flesh and drinking his blood, are "spirit" and "life." He had just mentioned "life" in verse 53 in which he warned that unless one "eats the flesh of the Son of have no life in you." Also, verse 57 says, "the one who feeds on me will live." By the use of the words "life" or "live," verses 53, 57 and 63 are all talking about the same "life." What gives the eating of the flesh the power of life? Jesus answers that in the first part of John 6:63 when he says, "the Spirit gives life." It is not just ordinary bread we are eating. It is bread which is given life by the Spirit. As Jesus says in verse 55, "my flesh is real food." It's real because it has real life-giving power by the Spirit. If it were not animated by the Spirit, then, as Jesus says in John 8:63, the "flesh [would] profit nothing." This fits in perfectly with the objection of the Jews. They thought Jesus was saying that merely eating his natural flesh would give eternal life. Jesus says, no, it is my flesh - - flesh that has the Spirit -- which will give you life, not natural flesh.

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