Originally posted by vplee123:
Jesus Explained The Eucharist The Day After Feeding The 5000
"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. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him." John 6:53-56
Ok. Mr. Gray, I am truly curious how you explain this. Directly from the Word of God. How do you reason out of the Eucharist?
Actually, your own Catholic Church disproves your belief of this Scripture passage. According to the Roman Catholic church -- the elements do not become the body and blood of Jesus Christ UNTIL a priest has said a few magic words over them. So, on one hand you tell me that Jesus declares this to be so -- but, then, your church tells me that the priest and his magic words are what make it so. Which is it?
Since we both are not qualified to explain this; I will turn to a man who was Director of a Roman Catholic Schools and Seminaries in the Philippines for ten years; Dr. Anthony Pezzotta has advanced degrees from Roman Catholic seminaries in Italy, England, Spain, and Germany -- and he has earned advanced degrees from Protestant seminaries in the United Stages. Dr. Pezzotta was Rector of Local Salesian Communities in the Philippines. So, I would venture to say that this man knows both Roman Catholic theology as well as Protestant theology and can speak authoritatively on the subject.
In his book "Truth Encounters,"
pages 96-99, Dr. Pezzotta tells us:
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++The Doctrine Of Transubstantiation
According to the Catholic canons, upon pronouncement by the priest, the elements of bread and wine truly become the body and blood of Christ. This is the doctrine of transubstantiation (change of substance). There are two main passages of Scripture that the Catholic Church uses to prove this doctrine. The first is Jesus' words in the upper room: "This is My body"
(Matthew 26:26), and "This is My blood of the covenant"
The argument goes like this: If Jesus says that the bread and wine are His body and blood, who are we to say that He means they symbolize His body and blood? Are we not supposed to take His word literally?
It is true that we are always supposed to accept the Word of God for what it says. The Bible is written in human languages, which have a definite grammar. All languages frequently use what are called figures of speech, expressions which by their very nature are obviously figurative. For example, Jesus in John 14:6: "I am the Way"
in the Greek, meaning literally road
). Do we take His words to mean that Jesus is literally the road
that goes to the Father? Obviously, Jesus was using a figure of speech. He meant that just as we need a road to any destination, through Him alone we go to the Father. So we translate the Greek word hodos
, i.e, road
, to be the word "way."
The example in John 10:7 is even clearer. Jesus said: "I am the gate for the sheep."
We all understand the two figures of speech in this one sentence. Surely Jesus is no gate! We are not sheep! But it is a beautiful and powerful expression which helps us clearly understand that as the sheep must pass through the gate to find green pastures, so we must all pass through Him to go to heaven. By calling men "sheep," He also conveys His love and care for us as a shepherd for his sheep! The Bible is full of figurative expressions, which Catholics also accept.
Jesus often represented himself in a figure. He said He was the light, the gate, the good shepherd, the road, the true vine. He did not mean that He was a candle, or a gate, or a bush. He was speaking figuratively. He did that frequently. It should not surprise us that He would use figures of bread and wine in the same way.
Luke and Paul quote Jesus as saying: "This cup is the New Covenant in My blood"
(Luke 22:20; 1 Corinthians 11:25). They do not follow Matthew's quote: "This is My blood"
(Matthew 26:28). (Jesus said it both ways, Matthew quoted the shorter phrase, Paul and Luke the longer. The longer is an interpretation of the shorter). Paul and Luke definitely understood Jesus to be speaking figuratively.
The most natural interpretation of Jesus' words is, "This represents My body."
If someone holds up a picture, points to it, and says, "This is me,"
the people around him understand what he is saying. They would not suppose that he meant, "This picture actually is my body. My body and blood are really present under the appearance of ink and paper."
In fact, they would not even entertain such an absurdity unless the one holding the picture explained himself to them. There is no record of any such explanation by the Lord Jesus. He simply held up the bread and said, "This is My body."
That was all that was needed. The disciples understood what He meant.
Jesus referred to the wine as "fruit of the vine"
after the words of consecration were spoken and the transformation supposedly took place (Matthew 26:29). It was wine before the pronouncement. It was still wine afterward.
Suppose for the sake of argument that Jesus literally meant the bread He was holding in His hands was His own flesh and blood. He did not say to the apostles, "I will place My body into your hands every time you speak the words of consecration."
No such explanation was ever given, though it would certainly have been necessary if the disciples were to understand Him. The whole idea is foreign to the teaching of Jesus as recorded by the apostles in the Scripture.
We can take this argument one step further. Suppose Jesus gave the apostles authority to speak "the words of consecration"
and change elements of bread and wine into the body and blood of Jesus. Still, He did not give them permission to pass this authority on to someone else. There is no record of any such apostolic succession.
The second passage of Scripture the Roman Catholic Church uses in trying to defend the doctrine of transubstantiation is John 6:53-55: 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. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink."
Catholics take it for granted that these words of Jesus were uttered in connection with the last supper. This is NOT
the case! The context of John 6:50-51 is the feeding of the 5,000
on the shores of the Sea of Galilee during Jesus' public ministry, long before the experiences in the upper room. His audience on the shores of the Sea of Galilee was mostly unbelieving Jews. In the upper room, He was speaking to His beloved disciples. The disciples could not have understood these verses as instructions concerning the ordinance of holy communion -- since the "sacrament" had not yet been instituted -- and would not be instituted until the gathering in the upper room two years later.
Jesus had just fed the five thousand people with a few loaves of bread. This miracle, which demonstrated that Jesus was the prophet "like Moses," prophesied about in the Old Testament, gave Jesus an opportunity to illustrate a great truth concerning Himself. He compares Himself to the manna that fell from heaven in the wilderness, giving life to the wandering Jews. He claimed He is the true bread from heaven Who gives life to the world. In the process He urged His hearers to believe in Him. 35 "I am the bread of life. . . 36 But as I told you, you have seen Me and still do not believe. . . 40 For My Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life. . . 47 I tell you the truth, He who believes has everlasting life. 48 I am the bread of life. . . 51. . .If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world" (John 6:35-36, 40, 47-48, 51).
The context teaches that we eat the true bread from heaven, not by participation in a sacrament, but by believing in Jesus.
VP, I pray this gives you a better understanding of what actually is transpiring when we take communion.
God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,