Thomas Aquinas on John 6:53 (“the flesh is of no avail”)

Posted by Dr. Michael Barber on 02.26.14

The Bread of Life discourse in John 6 has Jesus emphasize over and over again that it is necessary for believers to “eat his flesh” and “drink his blood”.

Is this passage about the Eucharist?

There are good reasons for thinking so. First, the imagery of “eating” Jesus’ “flesh” and “drinking” his “blood” seems closely linked with the Last Supper, the only other place where such language is clearly used.

In addition, the sermon follows shortly after the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand, a story that is clearly meant to be linked with the Last Supper in the Synoptic Gospels.

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