Just after He fed five thousand men miraculously, Jesus made the strongest statement of His entire ministry. The statement disturbed everyone around Him, even people whom He had come to trust as friends. The statement was offensive to almost everyone that followed Him except a handful.
“Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.” [John 6:53]
Human beings are so fallen and depraved that they just don’t know what is good for them anymore. While the best medicines are usually bitter and unpalatable, people seem to prefer the sweeties; it is unfortunate that the palates of children get trained to become accustomed to sweet things at an early age with refined sugar in such things as candies and chocolates.
In fact, it has been proven that the combination of refined sugar and saturated fat is lethal to a healthy body. (See Twins Experiment on Sugar)
The people to whom Jesus made this statement had followed Him into the wilderness and continued to listen to His authoritative teachings for three days. They had encamped in a difficult environment and religiously heard the Word of life.
Instead of dismissing them on an empty stomach, Jesus miraculously fed them with the lunch pack of a teenager who had been at the meeting.
“There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many? And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand.” [John 6:9-10]
This was besides the women and the children, so we are looking at probably fifteen thousand mouths fed to the full. It was remarkable!
The people ate until being full and some even had takeaways. But one significant thing was that they acknowledged that the event was a miracle – how could fifteen thousand people be fed with such a meagre amount of food, if it wasn’t a miracle?
Later that day Jesus and His disciples left the location and went to another city to continue ministry. The following day, the people searched and soon found Jesus in His new location expecting to be fed miraculously again. It was supposed to be a lifetime of eating and drinking from miraculous provisions by the Son of God Himself.
They wanted to install Him as king quickly, so that He would be responsible for them. But Jesus had something of greater eternal value for them.
“I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” [John 6:51]
He offered Himself. He declared that the people should feast on His Person. They reacted sharply! Why would He ask them to become cannibals? They were seriously offended. The Person they had acknowledged as a Friend became their enemy in the spate of a few minutes.
Bread is a source of food for the body. The intent of food for the body is the supply of energy and the energy (of fuel) derived from the food keeps the eleven body systems – circulatory, reproductive, muscular, respiratory, nervous, urinary, skeletal, etc. – alive. This direct source of energy is far much better than the tubes and gadgets doctors and medical experts fit on people in the hospital beds to keep them alive.
Good Food and Bad Food
The wrong kind of food can be destructive to the human body. A good example is refined sugar. Some people claim that refined sugar contains empty calories, but the truth is that the harmful effects of sugar go way beyond empty calories.
Sugar wreaks havoc on the human metabolism and sets it up for weight gain and many serious diseases. In fact, sugar has a lot of calories and that with no essential nutrients. But that is just the tip of the iceberg (I will continue with this health topic in another article).
The body does not know or understand fully how to handle (digest) such unnatural foods. So it usually looks for ways to eliminate it from the body or stack it in some convenient parts of the body such as hips and abdomen like some junk. This soon leads to a terrible weight gain, weakening the immune system and hence causing sicknesses and diseases.
A lady called Chantelle (not real name for privacy reasons), who is a Christian, once attended our online Bible Study and heard me speak on bad foods such as refined sugar and pork. She objected, reacted badly, arrogantly opposed the points I shared and left the group because she was offended at the truth.
Some three months down the line she came back and confessed to how she piled on the pounds with her diet and she suffered illnesses and diseases unbeknown to her. When she visited her doctor, the medical practitioner revealed to her that her diet was responsible for her weight gain and the extra weight has resulted in the acquisition of sicknesses and diseases. What a needless pain she suffered!
Another of such foods is pork-oriented foods, glorified with names such as bacon, gammon, ham, pancetta, etc., terrible foods for the human body. I will discuss this fully in another article.
On the other hand, the right kind of food can help keep the body in an excellent shape, full of life; vibrant and happy – all the body chemicals, the enzymes, prebiotics and probiotics working like a symphony in a perfectly balanced condition.
An example of this is the rich vegetarian diet of foods that are rich in hyaluronic acid such as dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, cabbage, kale, broccoli, seaweed, watercress, escarole, endive, tomatoes, etc. Tomatoes are particularly rich in a nutrient called lycopene. So are watermelon, grapefruit, guavas, asparagus, and red cabbage.
The non-vegetarian portions of foods that are healthy to the body are white meats, fish and healthy meat such as lamb. The human body especially love these foods because they seem to make the ageing process stop.
The comparisons of these two types of foods do build up to a staggering effect on the human body. One makes the body to overwork and causes it all manners of sicknesses, diseases and thereby ages it quickly. The other types will almost reverse the ageing process, almost returning the human body to its fountain of youth! In essence, food contains death or life.
The same can be said about the human soul.
Just like the body, with its organs and systems that need to be fed with decent foods, so is the soul. The soul can eat foods that are destructive to it or foods that give life to it.
This takes us back to the Garden, in the beginning of time. At some point, Eve and Adam fed their souls with destructive spiritual food and the result of that was death. Death to their souls (separation from God) and also destruction to their body.
In fact, when God created Adam, He breathed (naphach – expire, blow, inflate – Genesis 2:7 Strong’s Bible Concordance) into his nostrils the breath of life. The blood, which carries life, represents the spirit. God passed a spirit into Adam’s cold and lifeless body and he became a living soul.
When God revealed that the life of a being was in the blood, it gave us a glimpse of the life process of existence. He actually said the nephesh, which means breathing creature, has its essence in the blood.
The knowledge of these two words is highly significant to the understanding of the human soul’s abilities and capabilities, especially of the fact that it is living and needs to feed.
Haemoglobin and Life
The first person to describe red blood cells was the young Dutch biologist Jan Swammerdam, who had used an early microscope in 1658 to study the blood of a frog. Unaware of this work, Anton van Leeuwenhoek provided another microscopic description in 1674, this time providing a more precise description of red blood cells, even approximating their size, “25,000 times smaller than a fine grain of sand”. The oxygen-carrying protein haemoglobin was discovered by Hünefeld in 1840. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_blood_cell)
Some five thousand years before medical science got a glimpse of haemoglobin, God had revealed to Moses that “the life of the flesh is in the blood” [Leviticus 17:11] But, prior to this revelation, God commanded that each family of the children of Israel should kill a lamb, cook, eat and also put its blood on their door’s upper and two side posts.
Exodus 12:3 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house:
Exodus 12:4 And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb.
Exodus 12:5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:
Exodus 12:6 And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.
Exodus 12:7 And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.
Exodus 12:8 And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.
We can see how God was preserving the lives of His people in the Old Testament by giving them the taste of life, through the roasted meat and bread they ate in Egypt. He called this the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
This bread and meat they ate was a representation of eating a life-giving food. This food would supply them with energy and health. But then, it was also a shadow of things to come (Colossians 2:17), a representation of the genuine, eternal life.
The genuine bread or flesh was going to be Christ. This was the basis of Jesus’ declaration: “Eat My flesh and drink My blood”.
The flesh is a representation of the Word of God. This was why Jesus revealed that He was the Bread and the flesh they needed to eat plus His blood was to be their drink; while the blood was a representation of the Spirit of God, that is, the nephesh in the Blood.
Then we have the declaration that Man shall not live by bread alone, but by the Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God, that is to say Christ’s life. (Deuteronomy 8:3, Matthew 4:4).
So, we see Jesus offering the people a greater source of energy for their well-being – the life of God. In addition, He offered them His Blood. This Blood carries the Presence of God – His breath – His Spirit – His essence. Hence the invitation in John 6:53.
He explains further, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh accomplishes nothing. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” [John 6:63 ISV]
Acceptance of Knowledge
What is the implication of all these – food and the body or food and the soul?
There is a type of word that brings death. There is another type of word that brings life. The acceptance of knowledge by the mind is the same as eating the knowledge.
Eve ate a type of knowledge and she experienced death. Eve ate a fruit, that is the product that was derived from the knowledge. Eve ate the fruit of the tree of a certain knowledge that was contrary to the nature of God. It neither was physical fruit nor sex as some people have concluded. See The Forbidden Fruit article.
What fruit? The Words that come out of the mouth of God gives life to the soul of a man. It is food to the soul. “A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth: but the soul of the transgressors feeds on violence.” [Proverbs 13:2]
“The soul…. feeds on….”
In Job we see Elihu revealing, “so that his life loathes bread, and his soul desirable food.” ( Job 33:20 LITV)
It is the same Hebrew root word for soul used here that was used in Genesis 2:7 – nephesh.
The soul must feed, that is, regularly eat and drink. There are four parts systems that make up the soul. The intellectual, will, emotional and mind systems. The soul feeds through the intellect. The intellect feeds on knowledge.
It is sad to see Christians who enjoy the junk food fed to their souls through soap operas, sitcoms, gossip newspapers and even the evening news. The worst of these are soap operas, which are loaded with emotionally charged scenes that penetrate the human soul with the knowledge of good and evil. This knowledge tends to gain a hold on the soul and subconsciously control you.
This process is more or less neuro linguistic programming (NLP), a mode that influences you in things such as unforgiveness, anger, impatience, infidelity, unfaithfulness, lusts, lasciviousness, depression, fear, witchcraft and such like without even know it. All these inadvertently place a serious limitation on their walk with God, which unfortunately, they are not aware.
When the soul directly or indirectly feeds on psychodynamics, which is a form of Satan worship or Anti-Christ knowledge, SELF is exalted. Many are ignorant that psychology is as spiritual as a simple prayer. In fact, the word psychology is derived from the Greek word psyche or Latin anima; French ame; German Seele, which means “life” or “breath”. In essence, psychology is the science of the soul.
As your soul feeds on this product or fruit of soul manipulation, self is built up. By the way, another name for self is the flesh (Galatians 5:17). This is the root of self-confidence, self-made, self-rule, self-esteem, etc. All these may seem good, but the soulical energy gained from this feeding leads to the pride of life, lusts of the flesh and lusts of the eyes.
Eat His Flesh and Drink His Blood
The opposite is true to the offer of Jesus. Feeding the intellect His Word, causes a spiritual energy, especially when it is accompanied with the drinking of His “Blood”, which is the guidance of His Spirit. Such soul feeding transforms a person into the image and likeness of Christ.
I must stress that this is the ONLY time and place where a human being is supposed to feed on flesh and blood – and it is not even physical flesh and blood. It is totally spiritual.
His Flesh and Blood are sometimes represented with the bread and wine as in the Last Supper (Matthew 26:26-27), which is true, but His declaration in John 6 is much more profound as to the reason for the participation.
In some circles, they have reduced this holy act into some form of indulgence in alcoholic wine. The truth is that Jesus’ blood was the purest that ever was, no defilement whatsoever. But, the alcohol content in such wine is as a result of fermentation, which is a representation of sin. Such types of wine defeats the purpose!
Participation in this holy food in the soul realm is the most important part of eating and drinking Jesus’ flesh and blood. The original destination of this spiritual food is the soul. However, the effect of the energy derived from the food within the soul, does affect the physical realm, that is, the body.
This physical reality of a transformed life is what we see happen with Moses after he had been in the Presence of God for forty days and forty nights. Does this mean you will start glowing like some fluorescent light? Yes, not physically but spiritually with physical impact.
“Moses came down from Mount Sinai, carrying the two tablets with God’s words on them. His face was shining from speaking with the LORD, but he didn’t know it. When Aaron and all the Israelites looked at Moses and saw his face shining, they were afraid to come near him.” [Exodus 34:29-30]
This is what we also see with Peter the apostle.
“Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them.” [Acts 5:15]
“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.” [Acts 4:13]
When you accept Jesus’ invitation and start to feed on His Flesh and Blood, you will begin to transform, like Moses and Peter, into becoming like Him in character – likeness, too.