The Meaning Behind the Words

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. When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” 

 (John 6: 53, 60 ESV)


People could only understand what Jesus said by looking at the meaning behind his words. Not correctly interrupting Scripture can be detrimental, as we are told in John 6:66 ESV,” After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.”


All God’s Word is true and inerrant, yet some have a figurative rather than a literal meaning. If the intention is symbolic, there is a spiritual meaning behind it that is literal in its application. Many of his followers could not understand how they could eat Christ’s flesh, drink His blood, and, therefore, no longer followed him. They accepted the apparent meaning and missed the real meaning.


Jesus often spoke with the foreknowledge of coming events. He knew one day he would die on the Cross, His body broken, and his blood shed. His disciples would accept His work on the Cross by faith and receive the spiritual impartation provided by this event. Christ’s spiritual essence, which we receive by faith through his death on the Cross, takes us from spiritual death to life.


The foundational point in understanding the Bible is that we cannot grasp it without God’s help. The writers of the Bible wrote through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit; to understand it, we need revelation from that same Spirit. As we approach the Bible, we must be aware that without God’s help, we are clueless about its meaning. Those of us who understand our intellectual inadequacy to understand this book are the ones who most often have our minds opened to comprehend it.


If you come across a problematic Biblical passage to understand, compare it with similar verses, and then ask God by his Spirit to give you the meaning behind the words.

The image is used with permission from Microsoft.

Ken Barnes is the author of “Broken Vessels,” published in February 2021, and “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places” published by YWAM Publishing in 2011.

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