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Jesus may offend you, but he wants you to have abundant life.
John 6.52-57 – The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”
53 So Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; 55 for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. 56 Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. 57 Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me.”
If we take Jesus’ words literally, as did the religious authorities, we have every right to be offended.
If we imagine communion and the partaking of the cup and the bread, then his words are quite meaningful. At our church, communion is served with grape juice and a small wafer. These items become as intimate as possible when consumed. They literally become a part of the participant’s body and blood.
I have never met anyone who was genuinely intimate with Jesus, who didn’t display his love, joy, peace, patience and a number of other character traits. Communion points to the life-transforming nature of intimate friendship with Jesus.
A personal message from a personal God
John 6.58-59 – “This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever.”
59 He said these things while he was teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum.
Jesus has come from heaven to reveal and explain God to people (see John 1.18). This is a frequent theme in John’s Gospel.
What does Jesus show us about God in this episode from his life? God comes to where people are and confronts them with the opportunity to live the best life possible – both now and forever.
Let’s not stop in our relationship with Jesus until it becomes intimate. Communion is a picture of how filling our lives with Jesus is truly life giving.
Dear Jesus, I want to know you in a more meaningful way. Thank you for the opportunity to be intimate with the Greatest Being of All. Please help me to draw near to you.