John 6:53-58 But Jesus didn’t give an inch. “Only insofar as you eat and drink flesh and blood, the flesh and blood of the Son of Man, do you have life within you. The one who brings a hearty appetite to this eating and drinking has eternal life and will be fit and ready for the Final Day. My flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. By eating my flesh and drinking my blood you enter into me and I into you. In the same way that the fully alive Father sent me here and I live because of him, so the one who makes a meal of me lives because of me. This is the Bread from heaven. Your ancestors ate bread and later died. Whoever eats this Bread will live always.” MSG
What is the general theme of the passage?
Jesus compares His own body to the bread the crowd sees as necessary nourishment to improve their life. His revelation to them is they need more than physical bread. Their responsibility is to cho0se to believe Jesus when He says “the one who makes a meal of me lives because of me.” It’s a relationship that requires remembering only two things — “Bread from Heaven” nourishes life AND that blood of Life establishes a two-way relationship; “you enter into me and I into you” to regenerate life, now, so living beyond beyond life later is a reality.
What does it say about God (or Jesus or the Holy Spirit?)
Being in the presence of Jesus, God the man and God the Son, is the source of nourishment that will completely regenerate life.
What does it say about people?
“The one who brings a hearty appetite to this eating and drinking has eternal life and will be fit and ready for the Final Day.”
Is there truth here for me?
I would like to know what those people must have thought about what Jesus was teaching them. Even a shadowy idea of living beyond the life they had would have some appeal right up to “My flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.” My logical reference point when I read those Words is Communion, so I share the treasure of my heart’s awareness of three things Jesus has given me to remember about the mystery of that truth.
3R’s of Communion
— Responsibility — Revelation — Regeneration—
• Responsibility — Choice is my Responsibility. If I give Him the gift of my will and trust in this one small act that lasts just a few moments, He will live up to His responsibility, the promise to continue and complete His work in me.
• Revelation — That’s the whole point of those two simple elements of communion. They are physical reminders of the body of Christ in my own body. That little bit of bread or wafer on the tongue is meant to remind me He will nourish His life in me. That small sip of wine or juice is how I remember it’s His life that lets me see my own need through His eyes.
• Regeneration — The purpose of these few conscious moments is that Grace is being served with these elements. This is not just a beautiful ritual but a very real connection to the power of Christ to remind me of these things: I’ve chosen to give Him my gift, He will reveal Himself to me, and in me,
and these moments can nudge me one step closer
to what He has promised I will be.
3Rs of Communion 4_25_2022
Romans 8:1 Therefore there is now no condemnation at all for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. NASB
It’s a sad truth that many Christians have looked at God’s acceptance of their apology as little more than a release from guilt. There is a difference between knowing you’re forgiven and “no condemnation.” It’s the difference John Piper points out in this quote: “our apprenticeship to Jesus is living into both our potential and our limitations.”
Even forgiven believers struggle to accept the potential God has created in them because there are obvious limitations that condemn us; the ”shoulds.” The “Shoulds” are “the law of sin and of death” that “the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” has overcome. We have incorrectly separated our potential from our limitations rather than celebrating that God has a plan to weave a life for us that includes potential AND limitations.
Nothing is more powerful than the realization that careless. broken and sinful people can be forgiven AND that Jesus has a plan to redeem our potential AND limitations as part of the perfect life He’s creating for us right here and now. Can you believe that? It’s true!
Read what the Apostle Paul wrote in Second Corinthians 12:10 “For when I am weak, then I am strong…” Click the image to enlarge it. It’s a visual object lesson. God has lined up those secured vertical strands of His promises to be like the years of our life. Our choices sometimes fall under the promises and sometimes skip right over the top of them. The Lord has chosen to weave those “+” and “-“ choices of our life into a fabric that completes His life in us. Potential AND limitations woven together “so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit;” confident that we are part of His perfect design. “Therefore there is now no condemnation at all for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
ESV 3:1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”…16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Born again is an intangible idea. There is no document that can verify its reality or prove it has happened. Every detail of that new birth is internally stored in you. You are the safekeeper of your salvation through Jesus. I wonder if that’s exactly what this Word from Philippians 2:12 is speaking about? Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
Born a second time is a mysterious internal awareness that allows our heart to “see” the Kingdom of God has been placed within us for safekeeping. That awareness is the gift of the salvation God has worked in us. Our new birth is confirmed to us by personal growth and discovery that equips us to live a life of faith, despite our fear and trembling, because…God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.