To take literally or not take literally, that is the question… 🙂
John 6:30-31 says “30So they asked him, “What miraculous sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? 31Our forefathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.”
This begins a formal conversation that took place in Capernaum. The Jews asking Jesus what sign he was able to perform so that they would believe in Him. They gave Him a bit of a challenge reminding Him that “our forefathers ate the manna in the desert” How was He gonna top that one?
Vs. 32-33 “32Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
They wanted this “bread” in which Christ repied “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”….at this point the Jews understood this as a metaphor. But in reading further, Christ repeats what He said, then summarized in vs. 51 “51I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
Now they understood him literally… He again repeats his words, with a greater emphasis and introduced about drinking His blood. He made no attempt to soften what He says, or correct misunderstandings. So if they HAD misunderstood Him, why is there no correction? I find other occasions such as Matthew 16:5-12 where when there was confusion, He explained what He meant. Yet here, where any kind of misunderstanding about this could be fatal in the walk of a believer, there was no effort to correct them, He only repeated Himself with a greater emphasis.
In the Catholic Church, they take John 6 literally. With all of my nosing around, I can find no record from the early centuries, that would imply Christians doubted the Catholic interpretation. The transformation that is believed to take place to my understanding is a spiritual one, not a physical one… just like many other aspects of the Christian walk, so why would the literal interpretation of this scripture be wrong? I don’t believe it is. Many, many times I have heard that this is re-sacrificing Christ… another myth… another post.. 🙂