What does John 6:55 mean?
ESV: For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.
NIV: For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.
NASB: For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink.
CSB: because my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink.
NLT: For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.
KJV: For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
NKJV: For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.
Verse Commentary:
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).
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.
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