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Gnawing on Jesus

No one really “makes time” to eat, it’s just what we do. We make skip a meal (or two) because we got up late and rushed into the day, then think we don’t have time to grab lunch because things are too hectic, but eventually at some point during the day we eat.

Jesus loved to eat with friends and new companions. He was even accused of eating and drinking with the wrong crowd on a number of occasions. As Jesus gets further and further into his time hanging out with the disciples he makes a statement that often gets overlooked:

“He who keeps on eating my flesh and drinking my blood, in me is continually abiding and I in him.” (John 6:54)

The actual word used here for eating is τρώγω, which is best translated from the Greek as gnawing, “He who keeps on gnawing…” Gnawing takes time and is not in a hurry. We have a dog and she gnaws for a while on a bone, takes a break then goes back for more, she loves it!

If we look at verse 54 in the NIV we can easily miss Jesus teaching, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life…” In this standard translation his message sounds past tense. It sounds like something we can do occasionally, like we occasionally eat broccoli, but that was not Jesus teaching that day. He was telling the crowd that in order to have eternal life we have to gnaw on him.

“Unless you do eat (gnaw on) the body of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you are not really living at all.” (v.53) Are you living?

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