Gospel Jn 6:60-69
“This is intolerable language. How could anyone accept it?”
‘This is intolerable language. How could anyone accept it?’ It really is. Jesus is saying some truly disturbing things here. “Eat my flesh. Drink My Blood.” It’s kind of ghoulish when you think about it.
His ongoing admonition to eat and drink is body and blood was just too much it seems for the majority of people who heard it. As John reports, ‘After this, many of his disciples left him and stopped going with him.’
For me this little detail about many of his disciples leaving him is tremendously important. In fact it gave Jesus an opportunity to clarify his teaching. Had he thought they’d misunderstood his teaching he would have chased after these deserting followers and told them that he was ‘only speaking figuratively’ and that he ‘didn’t really mean all that stuff about eating and drinking his body and blood.’
But no, instead he turns to the Twelve and asks them “What about you, do you want to go away too?”
This is huge. Jesus’ words here show that he is a man who is absolutely certain of the truth of what he is saying. His offer of eternal life is open to all who have followed him, those who initially came to see him perform miracles, and those who ate so freely when he multiplied the loaves and the fishes. But being the free gift that it is he does not force it on anyone. He allows them to walk away.
‘Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.’
- C.S. Lewis