What does John 6:53 mean?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
NKJV: Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.
Verse Commentary:
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).
Verse Context:
John 6:52–59 describes Jesus' closing remarks during this public discussion of His ministry and mission. In prior passages, He has declared Himself to be the ''Bread of Life,'' resulting in no small controversy. The people have gone from seeking, to complaining, to fighting. During this discourse, Christ clarified the symbolic ''Bread of Life'' by pointing to Himself, foreshadowing His own crucifixion. Since the people are resistant to the idea of Jesus as a spiritual Messiah, they are hung up on the physical idea of Jesus' ''flesh.'' As Jesus continues to explain His role in salvation, most of those following Him will choose to walk away, as shown in the last verses of chapter 6.
Chapter Summary:
In chapter 6, Jesus feeds thousands of people who had been following Him. He does this by miraculously dividing the contents of a small lunch, leaving more left over than He had to begin with. At first, the crowd is amazed and they enthusiastically praise Jesus. After sending the disciples across the Sea of Galilee, and rescuing them from a storm by walking on the water, Jesus once again addresses the crowd. This time, He emphasizes the spiritual lesson behind His prior miracle. In response, most of those who had been praising Jesus turn away from Him in disappointment.
Chapter Context:
John chapter 6 occurs some months after the events of chapter 5, bringing the narrative to about one year prior to Jesus' crucifixion. As with the rest of the Gospel of John, the purpose is not to repeat information from the other three Gospels, but to focus on Jesus' status as God incarnate. This chapter continues to expand the list of Jesus' miraculous signs and the witnesses to His divine nature. Here, Jesus also gives the first of seven ''I AM'' statements found in this Gospel. Chapter 7 will once again skip ahead to a major public step in Jesus' path to the cross.
Book Summary:
The disciple John wrote the gospel of John decades after the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke were written. The author assumes that a reader is already familiar with the content of these other works. So, John presents a different perspective, with a greater emphasis on meaning. John uses seven miracles—which he calls "signs"— to prove that Jesus is, in fact, God incarnate. Some of the most well-known verses in the Bible are found here. None is more famous than the one-sentence summary of the gospel found in John 3:16.
Accessed 6/14/2024 9:21:06 PM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV, NKJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.
www.BibleRef.com