John 6:54 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 6:54, NIV: "Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day."

John 6:54, ESV: "Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day."

John 6:54, KJV: "Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day."

John 6:54, NASB: "The one who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day."

John 6:54, NLT: "But anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise that person at the last day."

John 6:54, CSB: "The one who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day,"

What does John 6:54 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In this passage, Jesus repeatedly compares the means of salvation to eating His flesh and drinking His blood. The context for this analogy is Jesus' claim to be the "true bread from heaven," which is the sole source of salvation for the world. Several times in this section, Jesus will make this comparison, which has already deeply offended the crowd (John 6:43). Some cannot get beyond a shallow specter of cannibalism. Others will reject the idea of a Messiah who is not a conqueror (John 6:51). In the end, all but a small group will choose not to follow Jesus anymore (John 6:66).

The fact that Jesus is speaking in poetic terms here is explicitly proven later in His discourse. Therefore, this passage cannot be taken as proof of the doctrine of transubstantiation, the idea that the modern communion literally becomes the flesh and blood of Jesus. Christ, in His own words, says this is not the case (John 6:63).

Jesus also ties the importance of this claim to the same statement He made earlier: that those who believe will see eternal life (John 6:40). That was in the context of belief in the One sent by God (John 6:27–29). The people should have seen the parallels here, but they are too busy complaining (John 6:41) and fighting (John 6:52) to sense the deeper meaning.