Taking a quick break from looking at each “sign” given to us in the Gospel of John to look at a scene which occurs on the very next day following the feeding of the five thousand in John chapter 6. It’s a place where Jesus gives us his very own theology of what we now call communion. It’s funny, I’ve heard many different explanations from many different people about what communion means to them, no one ever references John chapter 6.
It is the the very next day following the feeding by the Sea of Galilee, and many of those who had eaten return, looking for more bread from the Son of God.
They come looking for Jesus, saying “give us some more bread.” Jesus says ‘I’ll give you bread. I’m going to give you the bread of my flesh to eat. Eat my flesh and drink my blood.” To which those who came to him said “What are you talking about??!! Have you lost your mind? We’re Jews, we’re kosher. We’re not cannibals!!” Jesus says “Truly, truly I say to you, unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood you have no life in you. You are stuck in this little sphere of the finite and you’ve got to break into the infinite. My flesh and my blood are your way into the infinite.”
He says it like this –
“The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 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 you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has [infinite] eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live [infinitely] forever.” Jesus said these things in the synagogue, as he taught at Capernaum.” John 6:52-59 ESV
It is the beauty of the infinite. This follows the very next day from the sign of the feeding of the five thousand. It’s a sign that we can connect by faith with the word made flesh, and this opens us up to the infinite. So when we stand and come to the table, we eat the bread of the infinite, and drink the wine of the infinite, because it is the connecting point. We come to the table, and we find the body and blood of Jesus. It’s where infinite is communicated to finite. We eat the bread and drink the cup and we connect with the infinite. Do you believe we can connect with the infinite, and have eternal, infinite life? And that it begins to change us, not when we die (it will change us then too), but it changes us now, and we begin to live completely different lives. Jesus calls us out out of our fear and into faith, to believe in him and thus to connect with the infinite…