THIRTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
Jesus said, “those who eats my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them.” John 6. 56
1Kings 2. 10 – 12, 3.3 – 14, Psalm 111 Ephesians 5.11 – 21, John 6.51 – 58
Collect of the day
Ever living God, your son, Jesus Christ, gave himself as a living bread for the life of the world. Give us such a knowledge of his presence that we may be strengthened and sustained by his risen life to suit you continually. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in unity with the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
A thought to ponder upon – John 6. 51 – 58
- 51 – the “bread” Jesus gives is his flesh (a reference to Jesus’s death on the cross). Jesus’s statement intermingles physical and spiritual truth. Jesus is not talking about literal “bread” but he is the true “living bread” in the sense that those who believe in him have their spiritual hunger satisfied. He becomes this spiritually satisfying “bread” by sacrificing his own physical body in his death on the cross. And in the and in that sense he can say that spiritual bread is my flesh
- 53 – Unless you eat the flesh of the son of man and drink his blood cannot be intended literally, for no one ever did that. As Jesus has done frequently in this gospel, he is speaking the terms of physical items in this world to teach about spiritual realities. Here, to “eat” Jesus is flesh has the spiritual meaning of trusting or believing in him, especially in his death for the sins of humankind. Similarly to “drink his blood” means to trust in his atoning death, which is represented by the shedding of his blood. Although Jesus is not speaking specifically about the Lord’s Supper here, there is a parallel theme, because the receiving of eternal life through being united with “the son of man” is represented in the Lord’s supper (where Jesus followers symbolically eat his flesh and drink his blood 1 Corinthians 11.23 – 32). This is anticipated in the old Testament feasts (see 1 Corinthians 5.7) and consummated in the marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelations 19.9)