John 6:53 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 6:53, NIV: "Jesus said to them, 'Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you."

John 6:53, ESV: "So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you."

John 6:53, KJV: "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, NASB: "So Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves."

John 6:53, NLT: "So Jesus said again, 'I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you cannot have eternal life within you."

John 6:53, CSB: "So Jesus said to them, "Truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life in yourselves."

What does John 6:53 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Again, Jesus repeats the word amēn as He insists on the truth of His recent statements. Amen was an Aramaic word kept intact in Greek, Latin, and other languages. It is most simply translated as "truly." Putting it at the end of a phrase suggests that what was said is certain. For Jesus to use the word amēn at the beginning of a statement implies that His statement is absolutely true and that He has absolute, direct, personal knowledge of its truth.

Jesus has been explaining the meaning of the "Bread of Life." This included showing how the manna Israel received in the wilderness was only a symbol of the "true bread from heaven." This is Jesus Himself (John 6:48), who offers eternal life to anyone who believes in Him. The people are offended by this suggestion, not the least because it suggests that rituals and good works are not sufficient for a person to be "raised up" to life (John 6:27–29). Jesus continues by indicating that the "Bread of Life" which makes this eternal life possible is, in fact, His own flesh—symbolic of His upcoming death on the cross.

This sends the already-complaining crowd into a frenzy (John 6:52). The words Jesus uses here only make it worse. In addition to speaking of eating His flesh, Jesus speaks of drinking His blood. And, He does this by repeating the claim that He—and He alone—is the source of eternal life. Those who reject His message cannot see life.

This teaching will split the crowd into two basic groups. The first are so fixated on physical things that they will reject Jesus' comments out of hand. The idea of eating flesh and drinking blood, or Jesus being the "Bread of Life," is simply more than they are willing to accept. The second group will sense that, at least in some way, Jesus speaks in some kind of parable, metaphor, or symbol. That is still difficult to accept, however (John 6:60). At the very least, it means that Jesus' role as Messiah is not to be a conquering king, but a suffering servant. Some of these will also stop following Jesus, though the twelve disciples remain by His side (John 6:68–69).