Daily Office Readings for Monday of Proper 16: Year 2
“The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’” (John 6:52)
Again, the term, “the Jews,” simply means the leading authorities, for Jesus and all his followers were also Jews. Another point to bring out is that the use of this metaphor regarding the eating of his flesh is that Jesus was not suggesting cannibalism. He was inviting his followers to partake of holy food and drink that was taken by our Lord Jesus, blessed by our Lord Jesus and then divided up and shared with them. He took, blessed, broke and gave.
This is the last interesting part of this John passage. The Synoptic Gospels specifically walk us through the Great Thanksgiving or the Lord’s Supper. And while John’s Gospel mentions being at the table, it is an aside from the foot washing. However, much of the language of the Gospel of John speaks of the “Bread of Life.”
The Bible, specifically the Gospels, must be studied in prayer with people educated in the language and culture of the day of our Lord Jesus. Also, it needs to be known that as we read the Gospel like this one according to John, it was assumed that the Synoptic Gospel accounts (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) were already read and understood. Most scholars believe that John’s Gospel was the last written. Therefore the Gospel according to John filled in other details.
Jesus went on to say, “Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me” (John 6: 57). This means for you to be filled with our Lord Jesus so that Jesus works in you, and through you. You then, are not doing what you think you alone ought to do, but rather, you are the “host” of Jesus who is working through you. That is, you are the host (wafer or bread), you just consumed. When we receive Holy Communion all we need to do is get out of the way and let our Lord Jesus do his work through us.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through the saints of God and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John