New Moses, Manna, and the Reality of the
Eucharist in John Matt1618

How New Covenant Fulfillments Shows the Reality of the Eucharist, and Why
He didn’t Explain Away the Literalness of His True Flesh and Blood Matt1618


I have written several articles on Jesus’ bread of life discourse, the meaning of the word to eat flesh and drink blood, John 6:48-58. The usage of the Greek term ‘trogo’. I have went into depth on that in several different articles. Here is my most recent take on that one here: However, in this paper, I want to take a little more look at the background to Jesus’ Eucharistic discourse in John 6:48-58. I want to focus on just a couple of aspects. There is a rich background to Jesus flesh and blood saying, which in my view points to the reality of Jesus providing for us, his True Flesh and Blood. The loaves and fishes, provides a backdrop to Jesus’ Eucharistic teaching. I will spend more time on how Jesus says he will provide a manna that was superior to the manna that God provided the Israelites. It is often overlooked, which I will admit I have done when I’ve focused almost exclusively on the disputed texts of John 6:51-58, but not talked much about the manna which Jesus speaks throughout his whole discourse. We will see that this background will point us to how Jesus is the New Moses, and will provide a new manna which must be greater than the manna which God himself rained down from heaven as shown in the Exodus account. When we look at more in depth of John 6, it is much easier to understand Jesus, when he starts talking more in depth about him providing a superior manna, in John 6:48 going forward, which explains what kind of messiah he was. In many cases, Catholics, including me, focus on this part of John 6, and do not speak much about manna, though Jesus does. I will borrow in this paper, ideas planted by the name of Dr. Brant Pitre, who wrote a book ’Jesus and the Jewish roots of the Eucharist,’ available on his web site. It is much more indepth, and on many, many more issues than I will go into in this paper. His book I will commend, though I will not say anything I say accurately represents what he says, as his book will speak for itself. I will of course give my own take on the issues and will refer to other sources as well.

I will conclude by going over a specific Protestant objection that Jesus did not always explain his teachings, and that is why it is alright that Jesus did not say he was speaking metaphorically. I will show that objection does not apply in this circumstance of Jesus teaching on his Flesh and Blood in John 6.

Loaves and Fishes

The beginning of John 6 is where John puts the multiplication of loaves and fishes. There is a purpose for all of John’s writings. He writes that these things are written so that we may believe in Jesus, and have life in his name (Jn 20:30, 31). There is no doubt a miracle when Jesus feeds 5000. Despite the sceptic Catholics, he made out of 5 loaves and two fishes food in abundance and the people ate and were filled. Let us look at this passage and parts I would like to highlight:

John 6:1-14

1 After this Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tibe′ri-as. 2 And a multitude followed him, because they saw the signs which he did on those who were diseased. 3 Jesus went up into the hills, and there sat down with his disciples. 4 Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand.5 Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a multitude was coming to him, Jesus said to Philip, “How are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?”6 This he said to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. 7 Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii[a] would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.” 8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, 9 “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what are they among so many?” 10 Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place; so the men sat down, in number about five thousand. 11 Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted. 12 And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the fragments left over, that nothing may be lost.” 13 So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten. 14 When the people saw the sign which he had done, they said, “This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world!”
Ok, the first thing that should be noted that this miracles’ setting is Passover, v.4. We see that he went up the mountain, echoing Moses going to Sinai. Jesus later says he would look forward to eating the new Passover meal (Lk 22:15). So here Jesus feeds the multitude. Now he multiplied normal bread and fish so that the multitude can be fed. But it is in a Passover setting. In a coming Passover he will institute the Sacrament of the Eucharist. In verse 11 we see that Jesus gives thanks, or ‘eucharistesas’ in the Greek. So here it is a food that is a miraculous multiplication. Now here, it is natural food, he multiplies fishes and bread, but it is a supernatural act, even if the food itself is just regular bread and fish. So the people saw him being a prophet. We see food gathered up and distributed. Notice also that there are 12 baskets of bread, representing the 12 apostles, who would at a later time be at the Eucharistic institution. Now the important term I want to focus on is ‘giving thanks’ This is noted in the Jerome Biblical Commentary:
In John there are liturgical allusions lacking in the Syn versions and vice versa. The Syn have the detail of the breaking of the bread (cf. Acts 2:42) a detail that John may have avoided because of 19:33. On the other hand, “he gave thanks” in Jn (eucharistesas) is more allusive to the Eucharist than the Syn (eulogesen). Mk. 8:6, and Mt. 15:36, use (eucharistesas) in their second account of the multiplication of loaves: so also 1 Cor. 11:23. The Syn tradition has the disciples rather than Jesus himself distribute the bread---in view of the size of the crowd, this seems plausible---but in Jn’s bypassing of this detail we are reminded of the circumstances of the Last Supper. In Jn alone the gathering up (synagein) of the fragments is given as a command of Christ in the Didache (9:4) the same word is used for the gathering of the Eucharistic bread, in turn a symbol of the gathering of the Church, whence comes the ancient word synaxis for the first part of the Mass. In the same passage of the Didache the word klasma used of the morsels of bread in Jn and the Sun, is applied to the broken portions of Eucharistic bread. Raymond Brown, Joseph Fitzmyer, The Jerome Biblical Commentary, Prentice Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1967, Bruce Vawter, The Gospel According to John, p. 435-436.
John is writing this in the 90s. We know the term Eucharist applied to the Lord’s Supper because Ignatius calls this the Eucharist, as true flesh. Here is what the disciple of St. John, Ignatius of Antioch writes:

"Consider how contrary to the mind of God are the heterodox in regard to the grace of God which has come to us. They have no regard for charity, none for the widow, the orphan, the oppressed, none for the man in prison, the hungry or the thirsty. They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not admit that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, the flesh which suffered for our sins and which the Father, in His graciousness, raised from the dead." "Letter to the Smyrnaeans", paragraph 6. circa 80-110 A.D.
So we know from John’s disciple by the time John is writing this, that the term Eucharist, to give thanks, applies to belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. This giving thanks terminology used in John 6, is the term that John has Jesus using right here in John 6. That certainly impacts the coming Jesus discourse in John 6:35-58. So John is giving us a background where the people are seeing a New Moses, a new deliverer, who provides a miraculous provision of food, and this is before Jesus goes on to give us his bread of life discourse. The setting being Passover, the distribution of food giving to provide sustenance of people shows that something about who this Messiah is. The specific term John notes of thanksgiving points to the Eucharist. In v. 23 of the same chapter John has Jesus breaking bread and giving thanks (eucharistesas). This setting gives us a looking forward to his bread of life discourse. The debate on what the bread of life means, should not disregard this Eucharistic background to his bread of life discourse. Now we see the people wanted to crown him King, he drew away as noted in verse 14. However, this is the setting that provides the background.

Now the loaves and fishes there were paintings, frescoes, seen as symbols of the Eucharist in the second century. This miracle pointed to the coming miracle that Jesus would speak about. The loaves and fishes were in abundant paintings as pointing to the miracle of the Eucharist, as referred to here in this book for example: Roman Catacomb Paintings

New Moses and New Manna

Going back to the passage, notice that in v. 14, the crowd said that this is the prophet who is to come into the world. Where did they get this from? They know that there is going to be a Messiah who is like Moses. Let’s go back to the prediction of the prophet that said would come into the world. Deuteronomy 18:15-18:

15: "The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brethren -- him you shall heed -- 16: just as you desired of the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, `Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, or see this great fire any more, lest I die.' 17: And the LORD said to me, `They have rightly said all that they have spoken. 18: I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brethren; and I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him.
This is the prophetical voice that the people are referring to. Moses is the one who God used to bring the people out of slavery. Jesus came to bring people out of the slavery to sin (Jn 8:32-36). Now a unique thing about Moses, is that when God was leading his people out of slavery, through Moses, the provision that God provided was manna. I bring this up because Jesus himself in John 6 refers to the Manna throughout his discourse in John 6. We will see Jesus talking about manna. But he was going to give something considerably better than the manna of the Old Testament. Let us go back to see in a brief manner what the provision of manna was. We need to look at this because as we will see, both the people who spoke to Jesus, and Jesus himself, spoke about this manna.

Exodus 16:3-16

3: and said to them, "Would that we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate bread to the full; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger." 4: Then the LORD said to Moses, "Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day's portion every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law or not. 5: On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather daily." 6: So Moses and Aaron said to all the people of Israel, "At evening you shall know that it was the LORD who brought you out of the land of Egypt, 7: and in the morning you shall see the glory of the LORD, because he has heard your murmurings against the LORD. For what are we, that you murmur against us?" 8: And Moses said, "When the LORD gives you in the evening flesh to eat and in the morning bread to the full, because the LORD has heard your murmurings which you murmur against him -- what are we? Your murmurings are not against us but 12: "I have heard the murmurings of the people of Israel; say to them, `At twilight you shall eat flesh, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread; then you shall know that I am the LORD your God.'" 13: In the evening quails came up and covered the camp; and in the morning dew lay round about the camp. 14: And when the dew had gone up, there was on the face of the wilderness a fine, flake-like thing, fine as hoarfrost on the ground. 15: When the people of Israel saw it, they said to one another, "What is it?" For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, "It is the bread which the LORD has given you to eat. 16: This is what the LORD has commanded: `Gather of it, every man of you, as much as he can eat; you shall take an omer apiece, according to the number of the persons whom each of you has in his tent.'
The people were mumbling about not getting food. Even though they had plenty of cattle, which apparently they had grown attached to, the Egyptians had worshipped the cattle and perhaps they had some of Egypt in them, the Israelites did not eat the cattle that was available for them. Nonetheless God provides for the people in a supernatural manner. He provides bread that they do not understand, ‘what is this’, they say, it is food that sustains the Israelis for 40 years. It was definitely a supernatural act. The people of God remembered throughout history of the supernatural provision of manna to God’s people. They would later mumble about God’s provision unfortunately but this is a miraculous provision by God. So we see God’s people many centuries later seeing this manna as a special provision by God:

Psalm 78:18-25

18: They tested God in their heart by demanding the food they craved. 19: They spoke against God, saying, "Can God spread a table in the wilderness? 20: He smote the rock so that water gushed out and streams overflowed. Can he also give bread, or provide meat for his people?" 21: Therefore, when the LORD heard, he was full of wrath; a fire was kindled against Jacob, his anger mounted against Israel; 22: because they had no faith in God, and did not trust his saving power. 23: Yet he commanded the skies above, and opened the doors of heaven; 24: and he rained down upon them manna to eat, and gave them the grain of heaven. 25: Man ate of the bread of the angels; he sent them food in abundance.
Notice that the people of Israel complained, before God provided manna to them, what God gave them was not good enough (even though again they had plenty of cattle available to eat). The people of God did not trust in God’s saving power. Despite that, He opened the doors of heaven, and rained down manna for the people to eat, the grain of heaven. Man ate of the bread of angels, and God provided food in abundance. This food was provided during the 40 years in the wilderness and lasted, until they finally arrived at the promised land. The people would later mumble about this provision of God, but they were provided for supernaturally by God.

Now the people during Jesus’ time were well aware of this supernatural bread provided by God, and they were expecting new manna. 2nd Baruch notes this. Now this is not the Deuterocanonical book, but an apocryphal book, but it dates about the end of the first century or so. Here is the notation from this nonbiblical book, this is noted from Pitre’s book, already noted, ‘Jesus, and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist’, p. 91:

The Messiah will Bring Back the Manna from Heaven: And it will happen that… the Messiah will begin to be revealed... And those who are hungry will enjoy themselves and they will, moreover, see marvels every day... And it will happen at that time that the treasury of manna will come down again from on high, and they will eat of it in those years because these are they who will have arrived at the consummation of time. (2 Baruch 29:3-8)
Pitre in his book gives several citations indicating that the Jews as of that time taught that the Messiah will provide a new manna from heaven (Pitre, pp. 90-92). So people were expecting a new manna from heaven from the Messiah when he comes. Jesus lectures them some that they only were following him because he provided them food. He told them to labor for eternal life and to labor for the food that will provide eternal life. Then he told them the labor is to believe in Jesus Christ. John 6:26-30. Then they told Jesus about how Moses provided manna, what will Jesus provide? They expected more than the multiplication of loaves. How can Jesus be a new Moses? Before we get to the main part of the discourse of in John 6:48-58, let us look at what the people are asking for and how Jesus responds. Remember, they are expecting the Messiah to provide new manna, in some fashion.

John 6:30-35

30 So they said to him, "Then what sign do you do, that we may see, and believe you? What work do you perform? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'" 32 Jesus then said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven, and gives life to the world." 34 They said to him, "Lord, give us this bread always." 35 Jesus said to them, " I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst.
Jesus reminds the people that Moses did not provide manna, it came from God in heaven. He tells the people that He is the bread of life. He gives life to the world. Notice that the people ask him to ‘give us this bread always.’ They knew somehow that the Messiah will provide a manna that is superior to the manna that God provided through Moses. So actually they have some insight, of course they need Jesus to explain more, but they do realize that this New Messiah will provide a new manna, that will last forever. They do show though that ultimately they will not accept Jesus’ teachings on the matter.

Jesus then goes on to say he is indeed the new manna. One who goes to him as the bread of life will not be disappointed. No one will hunger and thirst when they come to him. He explains all the benefits of being drawn to Jesus, in verses 35-47 he talks about the necessity of believing in Him and to be drawn by him and following him in general. He gives them the importance of believing in him to get eternal life.

Next he moves more into the manna argument. John 6:48-58:

48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh." 52 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" 53 So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; 54 he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live for ever."
Now I want to focus on the manna part of Jesus’ teaching. Now Jesus goes on to talk about eating his flesh and drinking his blood. As mentioned, here Jesus goes on to talking about how believers must eat his flesh and drink his blood. Jesus reminds people of the manna. The manna, seen as a wonderful provision for God’s people, is highlighted. The people themselves knew that the new Messiah will provide a superior manna. They did not understand him much, but Jesus next moves explaining about eating flesh and blood in verses 51-58. But the immediate backdrop is verses 48-50, where Jesus talks about the manna yet again. But this manna was true food, even if the Jews did not know initially what it was. Even if it was miraculous, it was true food. But the miraculous manna, pales in comparison to what now Jesus will provide. That only provided material food. Jesus provides food that is likewise physical, and miraculous, but has tremendous spiritual benefits. Remember, the manna was true food, bread of angels. Manna was a reality, not a metaphor.

Then in v. 51 he says that the bread that he will provide is his flesh. Now we know that the Jews definitely took him literally and Jesus did not correct them when he repeated time after time when he said his followers must eat his flesh and drink his blood. I have went over in another article that says, when John has Jesus using the word translated ‘trogo’ as eat flesh, it means literally chewing, physically eating his flesh. Protestant Argument on why ‘Eat Flesh’, Trogo in John 6 is Metaphorical: A Response. That is not the topic of this article. It is just Jesus repeats himself several times, emphatically that we must eat his flesh and drink his blood, between vv. 51-58. However, his emphasis on eating flesh and drinking blood, is completed when he refers to manna again. He again speaks of the superiority of Jesus flesh and blood, which will be eaten literally, as opposed to the manna that God provided for the Israelites. Remember, Scripture itself shows that manna was provided by God miraculously to feed the Jews. The Psalmist calls the manna the bread of angels. However, it did end when Israel actually reached the promised land. Jesus is telling them that the manna pales in comparison to partaking of his true flesh and true blood. Those who questioned Jesus earlier said ‘give us this bread always.’ Although he corrected them much, he actually tells them that they were right when they said ‘give us this bread always.’ Jesus tells them to partake of Jesus literally we must eat his flesh and drink his blood. Partaking of his flesh and blood will lead to eternal life. That is ‘always.’ But the comparison is to a true miracle when God provided manna to Moses and the Israelites. It was not a metaphorical miracle.

Dr. Pitre comments on the comparison of manna to the Eucharist saying of Jesus in John 6:

In other words, Jesus surrounded his teaching about the mystery of his presence in the Eucharist with references to the manna from heaven. This is extremely significant. Jesus could have chosen the Passover lamb to explain the Eucharist, or (as we will see in the next chapter) the mysterious Bread of the Presence. But when he wanted to emphasize the necessity of eating his flesh and drinking his blood and the fact that it would somehow become ‘real food’ and ‘real drink’, he didn’t choose either of these. He used the Jewish hope for new bread from heaven, and identified the Eucharist with the manna of the Messiah. From a Jewish perspective, if the Eucharist of Jesus is the new manna from heaven, it can’t be just a symbol. It must be supernatural bread from heaven. Pitre, p. 78.
Continuing this thought Dr. Pitre remarks:
Now let’s ask a pivotal question: If a first-century Jew believed that the old manna was supernatural bread from heaven, then could the new manna be just a symbol? If the old manna was the miraculous “food of the angels.” Could the new manna be just ordinary bread and wine? If so, that would make the old manna greater than the new! (Then he goes on to give many examples of Jesus being greater than the prefigurements of David & Solomon).

In short, if the old manna of the first exodus was supernatural bread from heaven, then the new manna of the Messiah must also be supernatural bread from heaven. This is of course exactly what Jesus said in the synagogue at Capernaum. After identifying the new manna as his own “flesh” (John 6:51), he ended by declaring “This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live for ever.” (Jn 6:58)…

But one thing for certain,. If Jesus had wanted his disciples to regard the Eucharist as ordinary food and drink, he would certainly never have identified it as the new manna from heaven. Pitre, p. 79-80

Dr. Pitre words it better than I can. This new manna is superior, and it is true flesh and true blood. Partaking of his true flesh and true blood leads to eternal life. That is the way it can forgive sins, as Jesus himself noted in Matthew 26:28. Jesus usage of the term about the manna emphatically shows the reality, of the miracle of the Eucharist.

But Jesus Did not Always Explain Himself!!

Now as noted in other papers written by me, we know that Jesus explained his literalness to the people that he is really providing his Flesh and Blood. The Jews said how can he give us his flesh to eat in v.52, when Jesus reiterates again the necessity of eating his flesh and blood. Catholics will say, ‘see, Jesus is speaking literally and he does not correct the questioners.’ Then a Protestant says, well, he does not always explain himself to people. Keith Thompson an anti-Catholic, of ‘Reformed Apologetics Ministries’, for example, writes the following:

The biblical fact is Jesus often allowed his message to be misunderstood, even when teaching on matters of extreme importance. Matthew 13:10-13 confirms: “10Then the disciples came and said to him, ‘Why do you speak to them in parables?’ 11And he answered them, ‘ To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given’” (Matthew 13:10-11 cf. John 12:37-40). Jesus spoke in parable and metaphor precisely because He knew the non-elect would not be able to understand since they were not people who received the secrets of the kingdom from God (i.e., illumination of the mind from God); they were not God’s sheep. John 12:37-40 confirms this since it says many were not able to believe Christ even after they listened to Him and saw His miracles in order that Scripture would be fulfilled; namely Isaiah 53:1; 6:9-10 which teach God blinds eyes and hardens hearts so that certain people can not believe or have the truth revealed to them. So it’s false for Armstrong to say Jesus would not allow his vital teachings to not be grasped by people. Moreover, as noted, Jesus often did not explain important metaphoric sayings people misunderstood like in John 2:14-20 which mentions Jesus’ “destroy this temple and I will raise it up” teaching. We note also, as before, His teaching that He is the shepherd who protects the flock and fights the wolves in John 9:7-20 where the Jews misunderstood him and received no clarification. Thus it is no surprise to see Jesus not correct the Jews in John 6 and explicitly say his teaching was symbolic. Proof that the Roman Catholic Mass is Unbiblical
So Mr. Thompson’s explanation is that Jesus a lot of times did the same thing, the non-Elect are not going to understand it so Jesus did not feel the need to correct the unbelievers. Even though Jesus said it in a way that expanded the usage of the term ‘eating flesh and drinking blood’, to drive the point in even further in a literal way. Thompson says in effect ‘well forget that, they won’t understand him anyway.’ Okay I can see that that some people can be oblivious to Jesus teachings. However in most cases he will not drive home in a further supposed ‘misconception.’ He spoke emphatically of the literalness.

Besides that, in opposition to Thompson’s theory are a couple of things. First the meaning of eating flesh and drinking blood does have a metaphorical meaning, and it is in the Scripture and it is always negative. It is opposing, not believing. Scripture shows this here (Micah 3:3, Psalm 27:2; Isaiah 9:18-20, for example). This is shown here: john6.html It means reviling, opposing, fighting him. That would make absolutely no sense.

Another reason why Thompson’s argument does not apply, is what follows John 6:48-58:

John 6:60-71

60 Many of his disciples, when they heard it, said, "This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?" 61 But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples murmured at it, said to them, " Do you take offense at this? 62 Then what if you were to see the Son of man ascending where he was before? 63 It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But there are some of you that do not believe." For Jesus knew from the first who those were that did not believe, and who it was that would betray him. 65 And he said, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father." 66 After this many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him. 67 Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also wish to go away?" 68 Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; 69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God." 70 Jesus answered them, "Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?" 71 He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was to betray him.
So Thompson’s argument does not apply to this passage. The disciples, his followers were the ones who like the Jews, saw the literalness of it. Jesus did not explain to the disciples any differently. Jesus did not tell the believers, the disciples, ‘hey you misunderstand it, I’m talking figuratively, it just means ‘believe’, since you are believers, I’ll tell you.’ No, he says ‘Do you take offense at this’. So the disciples took him literally and he challenged them to either take him literally or take off. Jesus then ties the Eucharist to his flesh being a resurrected flesh. ‘You will see the Son of Man ascending where he was before’ Jesus did not figuratively rise, he literally rose. He then says only ‘the flesh’ which means only seeing it through man’s sight will lead you nowhere. It is the Holy Spirit who gives life. He never says ‘my flesh’ is of no avail. That would be blasphemy as it is his Flesh that dwelt among us (Jn 1:14). The disciples did not understand him to say ‘I’m speaking figuratively’ as some Protestants will say when he says ‘the flesh is of no avail.’ They walk away right at that point. Jesus here in John 6:62-63, ties it back to 6:54, when it says who eats my flesh and drinks my blood will be raised on the last day.

Against Thompson’s argument by the way are Jesus’ words. Thompson even quoted Matthew 13. He says that they are unbelievers, they won’t get it, but let’s go back to Thompson quoting Jesus:

Matthew 13:10-13

10 Then the disciples came and said to him, "Why do you speak to them in parables?" 11 And he answered them, "To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven but to them it has not been given. 12 For to him who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.
The point that Thompson totally ignores, is the fact that the very passage that he quotes shows that even if he doesn’t always explain his meaning to the unbelievers, he always will explain to his disciples of things that are of utmost importance. He specifically said ‘to you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven.’ So Jesus does let the disciples know of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven.

The fact is that even on a similar subject on breads and loaves elsewhere, he made an explanation to the disciples when they did not understand him.

Mt. 16:5-12:

5 When the disciples reached the other side, they had forgotten to bring any bread. 6 Jesus said to them, "Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sad'ducees." 7 And they discussed it among themselves, saying, "We brought no bread." 8 But Jesus, aware of this, said, " O men of little faith, why do you discuss among yourselves the fact that you have no bread? 9 Do you not yet perceive? Do you not remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? 10 Or the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? 11 How is it that you fail to perceive that I did not speak about bread? Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sad'ducees." 12 Then they understood that he did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sad'ducees. (Reference attributed to Pitre, p. 106)
So Jesus, while not always explaining to unbelievers, did explain to those who followed him. Notice here that in Mt. 16, he told them ‘Why do you not perceive’? So he explained he was speaking against the teachings of the Pharisees and Sadducees. On the contrary, in John 6, Jesus said not ‘do you not perceive’, but instead ‘do you take offense?’ He let them go. Nowhere else in Scriptures did disciples leave Jesus over a misunderstanding of his teaching. That may have been true of unbelievers, but not his own disciples. He even challenged the apostles and Peter to leave him, but of course he knew that Peter would stay with Him, though Peter not understanding his teaching fully, knew that Jesus was the Holy one of God. Peter knows in some way that Jesus would provide his true flesh and true food, even though at that time he would not know how. Notice at this specific time, is where Jesus talks about Judas, who then becomes an unbeliever. The unbeliever Judas is specifically mentioned here right after the time of Jesus’ exposition on the reality of his flesh and blood. Thompson (and other anti-Catholics) puts himself in the category of Judas, as an unbeliever.


In this article I have written about how the miracle of the loaves and fishes points to the greater miracle of Jesus and the Eucharist. John placing the miracle of the multiplication of loaves and fishes in a Passover setting, gives us a setting of Jesus speaking of providing his true flesh and blood that we are to partake of, with Eucharistic clues tied into that miracle. Then we went into how the people were expecting a new Moses, and a new manna. They asked Jesus to provide this manna. Jesus explained to them that he was the true bread from heaven, he came from heaven to bring eternal life. However, he did not limit himself to say that they must believe in Him. He specifically taught that he was going to provide a bread that was true flesh and true blood. He made the comparison of this manna, to the Flesh and Blood of himself which true believers are to eat. When he taught about specifically eating his flesh and drinking his blood, he specifically tied it to the miracle of the manna. The manna that God provided, that sustained the Israelites for 40 years, was truly a miracle termed ‘bread of angels.’The manna that God provided in the Old Covenant, though pales into comparison to the New Moses, Jesus himself, and the new manna that He provides. So when he spoke of the flesh and blood, he specifically chose a comparison that was not metaphorical. Thus, the idea of him speaking metaphorically does not match the context of Jesus speaking about the manna that God provided the Israelites. The new manna can not be metaphorical either.

We saw a Protestant apologist say that it is okay that Jesus did not correct himself when he saw unbelievers taking his teaching literally. The apologist said that it was okay, because Jesus did not correct himself because unbelievers were not going to understand him anyway. He pointed to Matthew 13:10-13. However, when Jesus spoke in that context Matthew noted that Jesus said ‘you know the secrets of the kingdom’ to his disciples. And we saw Jesus explain to them in full specifically when talking about bread in Matthew 16!! When the disciples misunderstood him, Jesus said ‘do you not perceive’, and then goes on to explain his teaching to those disciples in Matthew 16. However, he did not say that here in John 6, he said in John 6, ‘do you take offense’, v. 61. So they joined the unbelieving Jews. So Jesus teaching on the literalness of the New Manna was understood, and Jesus ties in his providing his flesh and blood to his own resurrection. When we partake of Jesus in the Eucharist, we partake of the resurrected Christ. We who believe in the Eucharist can say with Peter, ‘to whom shall we go, you have the words of eternal life.’ It is a grace giving and much better, ‘true bread of angels.’ Protestants who reject Jesus teaching and try to make it metaphorical, join the ranks of Judas and unbelievers.

To all visitors Grace of Christ to you!

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2016, New Moses, Manna, and the Reality of the Eucharist in John Matt1618 ... This text may be downloaded or printed out for private reading, but it may not be uploaded to another Internet site or published, electronically or otherwise, without express written permission from the author.

Work completed on Monday, January 11, 2016