I went to Bible Study Thursday led by Pastor Jeff Morlock of UALC and we were focusing on John 4:1-30, the lesson for this coming Sunday. But I drifted a bit to John 6:25-59, where Jesus explains to his disciples, the people gathered in the synagogue in Capernaum, and to us centuries later the meaning of the phrase and promise that he is the bread of life. I've seen entire books written on one word, such as "rapture," "justify" or phrase "fruit of the spirit," and essays on whether the nativity stories mean young woman or virgin.
But here we have a huge chunk of scripture in Jesus' own words about "eat the flesh and drink his blood," with clear references to the promises to Moses and eternal life. Yet millions and millions of Protestants ignore it and say that "I am," "real," and "whoever," belong to pre-16th century superstitions of the Catholics. Frankly, I don't get it. Lutherans depending on the synod sort of fudge it with "in over around and through" and the Anglicans, I think, acknowledge it, but the rest skip right over it. Protestants seem to be taking for their part of the script, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" And Jesus is pretty clear in his explanation. "Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever." To say he's speaking metaphorically or explaining bread in spiritual terms, you have to ignore the several paragraphs where he explains what he means.
Here’s what a Baptist web site says about this passage. The Catholics have 2,000 years of church teaching, tradition and Bible research to back their view. This is one man/one ministry’s opinion with no scripture provided to support his view/belief that Jesus meant something other than what he said, but the writer is very concerned that Baptists not commune with people who don't believe as his ministry has stated.
"Roman Catholics believe that the bread and wine of the Lord's Supper are changed into the real body and blood of Jesus Christ. To believe this the Savior then took His body and made the disciples eat of it, and literally poured out His blood and told them to "drink ye all of it." If you can believe that you should be a Catholic. Bread cannot be His real body; neither can wine be His real blood, but bread can represent His body and wine can represent His blood. The Lutherans differ least from the Romans in regard to communion, for they maintain that "the body and the blood of Christ are materially present in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, though in an incomprehensible manner. They call it CON-SUBSTANTIATION. The Catholics call it TRANS-SUBSTANTIATION. Both are incredible."