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John 6 Summer 2018
Read John 6:56-69 Jesus said, “Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever.” He said these things while he was teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum. When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This teaching is difficult; who can accept it?” But Jesus, being aware that his disciples were complaining about it, said to them, “Does this offend you? Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But among you there are some who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the first who were the ones that did not believe, and who was the one that would betray him. And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted by the Father.” Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him. So Jesus asked the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.” ————————————— Suggested Questions: • One of the most important things to remember when reading the Bible is that meaning comes with context. In this way the Bible is like your life, because to understand who you are in the present, you’ve got to understand who you were yesterday or last year or when you were a child. Where you come from helps you to understand where you are and where you’re going. So go back and read John 6:26-55. After you read it think about this question: How do the preceding verses help you to better understand what Jesus might be talking about in John 6:56-69? • Jesus says, “Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them.” Jesus is speaking about a deeper reality than just bread and wine and flesh and blood, because he goes on to say, “[Those who do this] abide in me, and I in them.” (The word that John uses for “abide” can also mean “remain.”) What do you think it means to abide (or remain) in Jesus? And how do you think the act of eating has anything to do with this? For a little insight, think about how food functions in your life. • In Christian theology, “the body of Christ” has two primary reference points: One is the bread and wine we consume weekly at church in the Holy Eucharist and the other is the capital-C-Church throughout the world and throughout history. The Church is the body of Christ! We, together, are Christ in the world. The world knows Jesus through us! Pretty cool, right? How does this help us to understand better what the Eucharist or communion means? • There’s no doubt that this is a difficult text (and Growth Group Guide!). Jesus lost people over this. He almost lost his own disciples. When he asks them if they’re going to leave him what does Peter say? Have you ever felt like Peter? Like there was no one else you could talk to? Like the only person who would listen and understand was him? Can you share that experience with your group? • There’s a deep meaning in this text which points to our abiding and remaining and trusting in Jesus, but it also points to the other body of Christ, the Church, our community of faith. As you wrap up this session, take a moment to give thanks for the body of Christ among you right now. How has it fed and nourished you in your life of faith? Christ Church Christiana Hundred Wilmington, Delaware www.christchurchde.org