John 6:63 – February 15, 2020

It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. John 6:63 NABRE     

Jesus is teaching about flesh and blood, and the importance of spirit to life. In the beginning when God created the first humans He breathed life into them. The Hebrew word used is ruah for breath, it also means spirit. From the beginning humanity is given life through the spirit. Jesus is reiterating this point, it is the spirit that gives life, without the spirit there can be no life. Then Jesus seems to speak of flesh as if it were just “matter” in certain cases. He uses two versions of the word flesh in the Greek; sárka and sárx and surprisingly in this chapter where he speaks of the bread of life he never uses the word body, the Greek; soma (although there are some who might say sárx can be translated as body.) We can sometimes see the word flesh as defining a covering of the bone and the blood, giving the impression that we put on flesh, as Jesus did in the incarnation. In the quoted verse Jesus sees no profit in the flesh, clearly He is speaking of spiritual things. Flesh is material that has no use without the spirit giving life. This is surprising because Jesus claims anyone who eats his flesh will have eternal life (6:54). But Jesus also claims He is the bread of life, and eating the bread that is Him come down from heaven will provide life forever. It almost seems bread and flesh are interchangeable in certain cases. But in the quoted verse flesh cannot be interchanged at all because Jesus says it is not useful. 

We don’t understand the spiritual world and so understanding Jesus as bread and life takes more faith than usual. When He spoke these words many thought they were too hard and left Him.

Do you see Jesus as bread and life? Is your faith strong enough to believe?

Jesus claims He is the bread of life, and eating the bread that is Him come down from heaven will provide life forever. It almost seems bread and flesh are interchangeable in certain cases. Click To Tweet

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