Eat My Flesh and Drink My Blood
By Rich Kanyali
When you read “Eat my flesh and drink my blood” from John 5:54-56, it could be extremely troubling if taken out of context.
This statement from Jesus was troubling to the Jews He spoke to and also to many of us today.
Was Jesus teaching cannibalism? If you want to understand what He was saying, you must pay attention to the context.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” —John 6:47
Believing in Jesus produces eternal life now. Whoever has believed on Him has everlasting life.
“Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” —John 6:54
This verse says that he who drinks His blood and eats His flesh has eternal life.
“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” —John 17:3
Eternal life is not just living forever. Everyone will live forever. The difference is where they will live. Eternal life is knowing Jesus and God the Father (John 17:3). It is a vital, living relationship with God through Christ Jesus. And this eternal life comes only by faith in and the faith of Jesus Christ. This is not speaking of physical eating of human flesh and drinking blood.
Eating Jesus’ flesh and drinking His blood equals believing on Jesus. Verses 47 and 54 reveal that eating Jesus’ flesh and drinking His blood is done by simply believing on Him—hence eternal life.
The word “believeth” and the words “eateth my flesh” and “drinketh my blood” are used interchangeably. Therefore, eating His flesh and drinking His blood is believing on Him, which brings eternal life.
“As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.” —John 6:57
“Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.”—John 11:25
One of the verses above says that he that “eateth Jesus” shall live, while the other says he that “believeth in Jesus” shall live. These verses are not teaching multiple ways to have life.
When we put these verses together, they tell us that life comes by “eating” Jesus—the bread of life and bread from heaven, which is referring to believing on Jesus. Again, the way we eat Jesus’ flesh and drink His blood is by believing on Him as our personal Lord and Savior.