“Unless you eat of my flesh and drink of my blood.” Jesus often said things that were a bit jarring and often His words challenged people to the point of turning away. In His day, disputes and arguments often arose over the words He spoke. At times, Jesus intentionally challenged the status quo and turned the ‘normal’ upside down.
Could one really eat Jesus’ flesh and drink His blood? Those living alongside Jesus could have if the purely literal interpretation was His true meaning. But if this were His true meaning, then heaven would be closed off to all who lived after the resurrection. As this is not the case, what then is Jesus’ meaning in these difficult words?
I think Jesus is looking for more than just hearing His words and pondering their meaning in our lives. I think He is looking for commitment. When we “eat” and “drink” Jesus we are taking His words and teachings and digesting them. They become a part of who we are inside. His teachings are the source of our energy and strength. They are the source of life within us. His words bubble up in us as the living water, bringing to the surface the things He taught that we are to live out.
When we take in Jesus’ words and teachings at this deep, deep level they become a part of who we are at the core of or being. It is then that we are claimed by Jesus and we fully belong to Him. Through His living presence in us we participate fully in this life. Our lives then reflect the light and life of Jesus in us to a world living in darkness. With Jesus deep within us, we become a part of building His kingdom here on earth each day.
Scripture reference: John 6: 51-54