John 6:52 Commentary - Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New TestamentObserve here, How the Jews, understanding Christ after a carnal manner, were offended at what he had said: for they thought it was inhuman to eat man's flesh, and could not understand how the body of Christ could in such a sense be food to all the world.
Hence note, That carnal persons put a carnal sense upon Christ's spiritual words, and so occasion their own stumbling. But yet notwithstanding the Jews stumbling at our Saviour's expression, he doth not alter his words, but presseth more and more the necessity of feeding upon him by faith, in order to eternal life; Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
Learn from hence, 1. That the Lord Jesus Christ is the true spiritual food of all believers.
2. That those, and only those, who do by faith feed upon him, shall obtain a life of grace, and glory from him; if we do not by faith feed upon him, we can have no evidence for a life of grace, no title to a life of glory. This place some papists produce to countenance the doctrine of transubstantiation, a bodily eating and drinking of Christ's flesh and blood in the sacrament. But it is evident that Christ treats not of the sacrament in this chapter, for the sacrament was not now instituted; therefore it is not a sacramental, but a spiritual, feeding upon Christ by faith, that is here meant. For this eating gives life to the eater; all that eat are saved, and all that do not eat are damned; but this is not true of a sacramental eating; besides, this eating which Christ speaks of, he makes absolutely necessary to salvation; but some are saved that never fed upon Christ in the sacrament, as John the Baptist, and the thief on the cross.
Lastly, If it be understood of the sacramental eating and drinking, woe be to the church of Rome, for denying the cup to the laity; because drinking of Christ's blood is here made as necessary, as eating of his flesh, in order to eternal life. Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
Observe farther, The close and intimate union which is betwixt Christ himself, and those that feed upon him: He that eateth me, dwelleth within me, and I in him. As meat is turned into the eater's substance, so believers and Christ become one; and by feeding on him, that is, by believing in him, there followeth a mutual inhabitation; Christ dwelling in them, and they in him: this is true of a spiritual feeding upon Christ, but not of a sacramental eating. Nay, Christ carries it higher still, and tells us, that as there is a real union between the Father and him, and as the Father lives who sent him, having an eternal fountain of life in himself: and the Son lives by the Father, having the same life communicated to him with his essence from the Father: in like manner, says Christ, he that eateth me, the same shall live by me. All which is certainly true of our spiritual feeding upon Christ by faith; but cannot be applied to a corporal feeding on him in the sacrament, as the papists would have it.
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Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament
William Burkitt (1650 - 1703) was a Church of England clergyman, bible expositor, and devotional writer.
Volume 1: Matthew - John, was published in 1700.
Volume 2: Acts - Revelation was published 1703.