John 6:55 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 6:55, NIV: "For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink."

John 6:55, ESV: "For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink."

John 6:55, KJV: "For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed."

John 6:55, NASB: "For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink."

John 6:55, NLT: "For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink."

John 6:55, CSB: "because my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink."

What does John 6:55 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Earlier in this discussion, Jesus urged the people not to pursue temporary, worldly things. Instead, He urged them to focus on eternal things (John 6:27; Matthew 6:19–20). He further explained that God's purpose in using bread during certain miracles was to provide a particular message. Manna in the wilderness, given to Israel, was meant to prophesy the Messiah (Exodus 16). Now, Jesus has come as the fulfillment of that promise. Those who accept the "true bread from heaven," by believing in Him, are guaranteed to have eternal life (John 6:27–29, 37, 40).

Here, Jesus invokes the same idea of a "true bread." Jesus deepens the analogy by indicating that His flesh is the Bread of Life. This foreshadows His eventual death on the cross—a sacrifice for human sin. That analogy, however, deeply offends the crowd. On one hand, a shallow understanding would suggest cannibalism (Genesis 9:3–4; Leviticus 17:10–16). On the other hand, for Jesus to claim to be the Promised One, and yet suggest sacrifice, runs counter to the traditional views of Messiah as a warrior-king.

Jesus will later clarify that this is a symbolic expression, not a literal one (John 6:63).