Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.”— John 6:53-54 (NABRE)
THE PHYSICIAN’S REPORT …
Many Christians are in need of a new diet.
We’re not talking about a low-sodium or a sugar-free diet. We’re talking about a “real presence” diet. A diet that guarantees eternal life.
THE CARTOON ABOVE …
Old Earl, the hero of our cartoon, is actually a healthy, old guy. He eats well, gets his exercise, and generally stays active. Nevertheless, as he progressed through the stages of life, changes had taken place.
If there’s one thing that Earl has learned about, it’s food.
What we eat can determine how well we cope with the changes in our bodies and in the world around us. You know the old expression: “You are what you eat.”
IT IS WRITTEN …
The Bible tells an interesting story about the fall of man. It happened in a garden a long time ago. Basically, God told Adam he could eat anything and everything in the garden except, of course, fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
God warned Adam, if you eat from that tree, you’re gong to die!
It wasn’t long before the serpent tempted the woman (Eve) God had given Adam. At first, Eve debated with the serpent. But soon she listened, and then she started looking. She decided that the forbidden tree didn’t look as bad as God said it was. In fact, it actually looked delicious. So the women bit into it.
It was delicious.
She turned to her husband and told him he should try it too. Adam looked, and soon he bit too. It was at that moment that their fate was sealed. They became mortal.
Death was now part of their lives and would fall on every generation to follow.
WHAT DO YOU SAY?
The root of the problem was that Adam and Eve had chosen to trust their physical senses rather than the word of God. But it wasn’t just Adam and Eve who did this. It actually has become a family tradition.
You can really see this in an intense conversation Jesus had with a crowd almost immediately after He miraculously fed over 5,000 people. He promised them the best was yet to come. He told them He was the bread of life and whoever ate this bread would never be hungry. Whoever believed would never thirst (Jn 6:35).
As He spoke, the men who had been fed by Jesus thought He looked too much like the son of a carpenter to be what He was saying He was.
And so, they didn’t believe Jesus, just as Adam and Eve didn’t believe God in the Garden.
Jesus did not give up, however. This was sound doctrine (2 Tim 4:1-4). He reasoned with them. And then He doubled-down.
Jesus told them whoever believed that He actually was the bread of life would have eternal life (Jn 6:48-51).
The men looked at Jesus again, And again, they preferred to trust their physical senses over the Word of God. In fact, they began to grew angry and started walking away.
Jesus pressed them further. He said whoever ate His flesh and drank His blood would have eternal life (Jn 6:51).
“You must eat my flesh,” He insisted.
“You must drink my blood,” He urged them (Jn 6:53).
“My flesh is true food,” Jesus announced. “My blood is true drink,” He assured them (Jn 6:56)!
Just like their father Adam and their mother Eve, they had decided to believe their eyes. They had decided that God was wrong about what He said.
What Jesus said was not possible — as far as they knew. As far as their physical senses could tell them.
LIFE GOES ON …
Of course, we’re smarter today than those 5,000 people who walked away from Jesus — aren’t we? We would never do anything like that — would we?
Well, maybe we would.
Today nearly every ecclesial group outside the Catholic Church professes that the communion they do a few times a year is just a symbol. And even those who do believe there is a strong connection to what God tells us about the consecrated bread and wine mostly seem to believe it’s only partly true.
Like Adam Eve before them, nearly all of them trust their physical senses whenever the Word of God seems to be in conflict with their eyes, ears, nose or mouth.
It’s not just Protestants who don’t believe. Catholics are following in the footsteps of Adam and Eve too. A recent survey revealed that a majority of Catholics who attend weekly mass don’t actually believe in the real presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.
They trust their eyes more than they trust the Word of God.
And like Adam and Eve, they put their eternal souls in grave danger. They invite harm onto their generations who follow them too.
If we do not relearn to believe what God says, can we ever expect to really trust Him to get us to heaven (Ps 23:4)? Will we choose to live in fear and anger rather than putting our trust in Jesus?
So that leaves us with a choice, dear friends. Will you believe Jesus or not!
It’s cool to be a child of God!