Skip to comments.The Eucharist: Is the Real Presence Biblical?
Posted on 02/03/2015 5:32:17 PM PST by 9thLife
The "Real Presence" of Jesus in the Eucharist is rooted in Christ's own teachings.
When Jesus taught about the Eucharist, he spoke with a profound realism. At the Last Supper, he didn't say, "This is a symbol of my body." He said, "This is my body " And when he gave his most in-depth teaching on the Eucharist, he spoke in a very realistic way in a way that makes clear that the Eucharist is not just a symbol of Jesus, but is his flesh and blood made sacramentally present.
Let's enter into that dramatic scene, known as "The Bread of Life Discourse" in John's Gospel chapter six. Jesus had just performed his greatest miracle so far, multiplying loaves and fish to feed 5,000 people. The crowds are in awe. They declare him to be the great "prophet who is to come" and want to carry him off to make him king (John 6:14-15).
But the very next day, Jesus says something that sends his public approval ratings plummeting, something that makes those same raving fans now oppose him. Even some of his own disciples will walk away from him. What does Jesus say that was so controversial? He taught about partaking of his body and blood in the Eucharist. Jesus first says, "I am the bread of life the true bread come down from heaven" (John 6:35). And he makes clear that he is not bread in some vague, figurative sense. He concludes, " and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh" (John 6:51).
The people are shocked at this. They say, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" (John 6:52).
The Jews listening that day don't take Jesus as speaking metaphorically, as if we are to somehow only symbolically eat of his flesh. They understand Jesus very well. They know he is speaking realistically here, and that's why they are appalled.
Now here's the key: Jesus has every opportunity to clarify his teaching. But notice how that's precisely what he doesn't do. He doesn't back up and say, "Oh wait I'm sorry You misunderstood. I was only speaking metaphorically here!" He doesn't soften his teaching, saying "You just need to nourish yourself on my teaching, my wisdom, my love." Jesus does just the opposite. He uses even more graphic, more intense language to drive his point home: "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" (John 6:53). And he goes on to underscore how essential partaking of his body and blood is for our salvation.
"He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him" (6:54-55).
In fact, Jesus now uses a word for "eat" that has even greater graphic intensity trogein, which means to chew or gnaw not a word that would be used figuratively here!
This is not the language of someone speaking metaphorically. Jesus wants to give us his very body and blood in the Eucharist. In fact, Jesus now uses a word for "eat" that has even greater graphic intensity trogein, which means to chew or gnaw not a word that would be used figuratively here!
So challenging is this teaching that even many of Christ's disciples are bewildered, saying "This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?" (John 6:60). Indeed, Christ's words on the Eucharist were too much for some of them to believe. Many of his disciples rejected Jesus over this teaching and left him (John 6:66). And Jesus let them go. He didn't chase after them, saying, "Wait! You misunderstood me." They understood quite well that Jesus was speaking about eating his flesh and blood, and they rejected this teaching. That's why Jesus let them go.
So it's clear that Jesus wants to give us his Body and Blood in the Eucharist. But we still must ask, why? In the Jewish, Biblical worldview of Jesus' day, the body is an expression of the whole person and the life is in the blood. So by giving us his Body and Blood in the Eucharist, Jesus is giving his very life to us, and he wants to unite himself to us in the most intimate way possible. He wants to fill us with his life and heal us of our wounds, strengthen us in his love change us to become more and more like him. That's the life-transforming power of the Eucharist in our lives. In Holy Communion, we have the most profound union with Our Lord Jesus Christ that we can have here on earth.
"He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him" (John 6:54-55)
"And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me. - Luke 22:19
This issue was settled over 2000 years ago and subsequently by Augustine, Aquinas, and Newman, all the eminent Lutheran theologians like Richard Neuhaus, to say nothing of the former Chief Rabbi of Rome and the scholars atheists included who converted to Catholicism and accepted this central belief. The proof of the Living Presence of Christ in the Eucharist is irrefutable.
John 6:30 begins a colloquy that took place in the synagogue at Capernaum. The Jews asked Jesus what sign he could perform so that they might believe in him. As a challenge, they noted that “our ancestors ate manna in the desert.” Could Jesus top that? He told them the real bread from heaven comes from the Father. “Give us this bread always,” they said. Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”
At this point the Jews understood him to be speaking metaphorically.
Again and Again
Jesus first repeated what he said, then summarized: “I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh. The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” (John 6:5152).
His listeners were stupefied because now they understood Jesus literallyand correctly. He again repeated his words, but with even greater emphasis, and introduced the statement about drinking his blood: “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; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him” (John 6:5356).
Notice that Jesus made no attempt to soften what he said, no attempt to correct “misunderstandings,” for there were none. Our Lords listeners understood him perfectly well. They no longer thought he was speaking metaphorically. If they had, if they mistook what he said, why no correction?
On other occasions when there was confusion, Christ explained just what he meant (cf. Matt. 16:512). Here, where any misunderstanding would be fatal, there was no effort by Jesus to correct. Instead, he repeated himself for greater emphasis.
In John 6:60 we read: “Many of his disciples, when they heard it, said, This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” These were his disciples, people used to his remarkable ways. He warned them not to think carnally, but spiritually: “It is the Spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life” (John 6:63; cf. 1 Cor. 2:1214).
But he knew some did not believe. (It is here, in the rejection of the Eucharist, that Judas fell away; look at John 6:64.)
“After this, many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him” (John 6:66).
This is the only record we have of any of Christs followers forsaking him for purely doctrinal reasons. If it had all been a misunderstanding, if they erred in taking a metaphor in a literal sense, why didnt he call them back and straighten things out?
Both the Jews, who were suspicious of him, and his disciples, who had accepted everything up to this point, would have remained with him had he said he was speaking only symbolically.
But he did not correct these protesters. Twelve times he said he was the bread that came down from heaven; four times he said they would have “to eat my flesh and drink my blood.” John 6 was an extended promise of what would be instituted at the Last Supperand it was a promise that could not be more explicit. Or so it would seem to a Catholic.
Why wasn't The Apocalypse fulfilled the instant he said, "It is finished"?
Because it's up to Him.
He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him” (John 6:54-55)
“The Mass as Sacrifice”
“Christ Jesus suffered as the sacrificial Lamb of God to procure forgiveness of sin and everlasting life for His people. He has legally borne their sins and credited His perfection to them. Christ alone was the perfect One that could do so; this is His glory. Thus, the radiant Christ is seen in His finished sacrifice. When one sees the Catholic Church proclaim that in the sacrifice of the Catholic Mass Christ is immolated, he ought to be startled. In this clear message, [former Catholic priest] Richard Bennett explains how he wrestled in conflict in his own life. Once you are convinced that eternal death is your lot outside of Jesus Christ, you should desire the truth. For you to trust any sacrifice apart from the sacrifice once offered historically on Calvary, you are certainly under condemnation of God.”
Why would he correct unbelievers ... He spoke to them in parables ... so they wouldn't understand Him.
John 6 has nothing to do with the Lords Table. Nothing. The events in John 6 occurred years before the events in the Upper Room Discourse (John 13-17).
John is the only gospel that omits the institution of the Lords Table. If John 6 was some kind of theological foreshadowing of the institution of a sacrament that was years away from being introduced ... it is untenable that John would not have mentioned the Lord Table in the Upper Room Discourse.
Roman Catholic interpretation in John 6 is part of sacred tradition ... because it has no basis in solid exegesis of the Biblical text.
Augustine on the same verses:
They said therefore unto Him, 'What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?' For He had said to them, 'Labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that which endureth unto eternal life.' 'What shall we do?' they ask; by observing what, shall we be able to fulfill this precept? 'Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He has sent.' This is then to eat the meat, not that which perisheth, but that which endureth unto eternal life. To what purpose dost thou make ready teeth and stomach? Believe, and thou hast eaten already." (Augustine, Tractate 25)
It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. (John 6:63 KJV)
It’s spiritual not literal.
Anyhow, I have learned in these threads that the Catholics actually do not believe it is literal.
His death on the Cross was literal and the flesh and blood broken and shed he gave for us so that we would have life was literal.
yup, this is My Body...clear to me!!
Very selective use of Augustine, a Catholic saint who received the Holy Eucharist and attended Mass. Brilliant! So now we have drive-by internet theologians substituting the usual shallow Bible Christianity for the works of Augustine, Aquinas, Newman, and Benedict whose works are the stuff of theological curriculum in all the major universities of the world.
in Scripture there is a recounting of Satan visiting God In Heaven
as Satan was permanently exiled from heaven one is forced to take that visit...as a metaphor.
The Bible is :god breathed” and it is literature. All Literature does not take the same form.
“But,but,but is this Sola scripture????????”
Silly protestant, only THEY can point to Bible verses to prove things. If we try it, they say we must defer to the hierarchy and tradition.
Yeahhhhh,, he also said “I am the door”. You think he was a 6 panel wooden door?
27 And taking the chalice, he gave thanks, and gave to them, saying: Drink ye all of this.
28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins.
29 And I say to you, I will not drink from henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I shall drink it with you new in the kingdom of my Father.
In Jesus’ own words, his ‘blood’ in verse 28 was immediately called ‘fruit of the vine’ in the next verse. Glad he was explicit so we don’t have thousands of years of misunderstanding...
a door is something to go through...doesn't have to be a physical closure at all...a doorway is merely an opening through which you can pass.
but "THIS IS MY BODY" seems to me to mean.....this is my body!!
St. Augustine also believed in the Real Presence.
For example: Sermons 234, 2 (ca. AD 400):
The Lord Jesus wanted those whose eyes were held lest they should recognize Him, to recognize Him in the breaking of the bread. The faithful know what I am saying. They know Christ in the breaking of the bread. For not all bread, but only that which receives the blessing of Christ, becomes Christs body.
Explanations of the Psalms (ca. 400) 33,1,10:
Here, St. Augustine comments on Psalm 119:109 in the Vulgate. The modern translations will more accurately say I hold my life, or my soul in my hands, or, my life is at risk. The Vulgate says, And he was carried in his own hands. This is the text St. Augustine would have known.
“And he was carried in his own hands. But, brethren, how is it possible for a man to do this? Who can understand it? Who is it that is carried in his own hands? A man can be carried in the hands of another; but no one can be carried in his own hands. How this should be understood literally of David, we cannot discover; but we can discover how it is meant of Christ. For Christ was carried in His own hands, when, referring to His own Body, He said: This is My Body. For He carried that Body in His hands.
Heres another emphatic St Augustine quotes:
“I promised you [new Christians], who have now been baptized, a sermon in which I would explain the sacrament of the Lords Table. . . . That bread which you see on the altar, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the body of Christ. That chalice, or rather, what is in that chalice, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the blood of Christ” (Sermons 227 [A.D. 411]).
Catholics dont need the stupidity and nonsense of all that born again bunk, we have the Holy Eucharist. Even pre-eminent Lutheran theologians like Rev. Richard Neuhaus, Francis Beckwith president of the Evangelical Theological Society, an association of 4,300 Protestant theologians, Josh Hochschild, Wheaton Colleges brilliant theology and philosophy professor, Ulf Ekman, pastor of Swedens largest Protestant Church with 3500 congregants, all ditched their former beliefs as being in error and converted to Catholicism.
So now we have the sophomoric drive-bys throwing their two cents into a matter that has long since been settled.
Jer_15:16 Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.
Gods words were eaten?
Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
And the Word is God.
Gen 14:18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.
Gods priest also brought bread and wine before Christ came.
Heb 9:24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:
Heb 9:25 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;
Heb 9:26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
Heb 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
Heb 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
Of course the church always has had a problem remembering.
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