John 6:63 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 6:63, NIV: "The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you--they are full of the Spirit and life."

John 6:63, ESV: "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life."

John 6:63, KJV: "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life."

John 6:63, NASB: "'It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life."

John 6:63, NLT: "The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life."

John 6:63, CSB: "The Spirit is the one who gives life. The flesh doesn't help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life."

What does John 6:63 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Much of the angst over Jesus' teaching has come from the physical symbolism He used. After referring to Himself as the Bread of Life, Jesus insists that only those who eat His flesh and drink His blood can find eternal life. Of course, earlier in the conversation, Jesus pointed out that the "bread from heaven" was a person in whom God expected people to believe (John 6:27–29). The idea of His flesh being the bread of life was meant to extend the analogy of bread, in order to include His upcoming sacrificial death on the cross. Here, Jesus makes a direct statement that His prior words are not meant to be taken literally.

In other words, Christ is not actually saying that people need to consume His material flesh or drink His liquid blood. Rather, the point Jesus is making is spiritual. True belief in Christ requires a person to take the truth of who Christ is deep inside them—they must "receive it" fully and absolutely. This is where the analogy of food comes in, which has to be taken inside a person in order to have any effect. Simply seeing, holding, or touching food is not enough. It must be consumed. In the same way, faith in Christ is not the same as intellectual knowledge. Saving faith means receiving Christ in the deepest parts of ourselves.