The living bread from heaven (Jn 6:51-6:51)

“I am

The living bread

That came down

From heaven.

Whoever eats

Of this bread,

Will live forever.

The bread

That I will give

For the life

Of the world

Is my flesh.”

ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ ἄρτος ὁ ζῶν ὁ ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καταβάς· ἐάν τις φάγῃ ἐκ τούτου τοῦ ἄρτου, ζήσει εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα· καὶ ὁ ἄρτος δὲ ὃν ἐγὼ δώσω ἡ σάρξ μού ἐστιν ὑπὲρ τῆς τοῦ κόσμου ζωῆς.

John indicated that Jesus got personal when he spoke of the living bread.  The connection with the eucharistic bread, eternal life, and Jesus was made more specific and concrete.  Jesus said that he was (ἐγώ εἰμι) the living bread or the bread of the living (ὁ ἄρτος ὁ ζῶν) that came down (καταβάς) from heaven (ὁ ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ).  He used the famous singular first person “I am” to indicate a divine oracle, since he came down from heaven.  Whoever ate (ἐάν τις φάγῃ) of this bread (ἐκ τούτου τοῦ ἄρτου) would live (ζήσει) forever or into the ages (αἰῶνα).  The bread (καὶ ὁ ἄρτος) that he was giving (δὲ ὃν ἐγὼ δώσω) was for the life of the world (ὑπὲρ τῆς τοῦ κόσμου ζωῆς).  It was his own flesh (ἡ σάρξ μού ἐστιν).  Unlike the other synoptics, John did not have any Last Supper Eucharistic institution.  Rather here in this discourse on the bread of life, Jesus, via John, annunciated his eucharistic theology.  In summary, they would have to eat the heavenly bread, his flesh, to live forever, because he was going to give his life for the world.  Afterall, the Word had become flesh in chapter 1:14.  Do you see communion as eating the living bread of heavenly life?

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