"The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life." -Jesus (John 6:63 NIV)
My Lord spoke these things after He gave an illustration of being the Bread of Life. The picture was so graphic in John chapter six that most people were offended and left Him upon hearing it. I wonder what I would have done if I heard my Teacher say, "But anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise that person at the last day." If I were a good little Jewess I would immediately think of how I'm not a cannibal nor do I even eat the blood of animals. However, if I had understood what Jesus had spoken before that day and kept following Him I would know that He spoke in parables and pictures. If I were to have hung out long enough to hear His explanation to the disciples I would have probably had a major revelation. I had one of those during bible study the other week, so I'd assume it would have happened if I lived back then, too.
Our wonderful bible study teacher was guiding us through this very passage when my mind took a crazy turn into the mysteries of God. I promised myself I would write about it to try and piece it together. The best way for me to do this is to picture an audience. Maybe some people read this blog (wink wink). That would be you. Lucky you. But my real reason for writing is to see if I can wrap my brain around what I feel was revealed to me. When I read the words of Jesus in red that are quoted at the very top of this entry something sparked a fuse in me. Our ladies' bible study teacher has a knack for allowing us the freedom and focus to chew on scripture. In fact, she brought a loaf of bread for us to eat before we sat down to study. She asked us what the bread was doing now and eventually what would become of it. All of that was to introduce the study called "Jesus says, 'I am the bread of life.'" Well, we are what we eat because the molecules that we need from our food (end even some we could do without) end up in our cells. But that's not the revelation I felt was most powerful. But it is noteworthy...
"We are what we eat," is true for belief also. We take information in through our senses and our mind chews it up. We allow it to sit and be processed and eventually it makes it's way to our soul. The sweeter the info, the easier it is to take in. Sometimes we end up with words like those on the scroll in Revelation 10:10, sweet in the mouth but sour in the stomach. Sometimes it's junk food that does nothing but make us sick. Sometimes information enlightens us and reveals things about us and the world around us. In Luke chapter 11, Jesus says that the eyes are the lamp of the body: "If
you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life
will be radiant, as though a floodlight were filling you with light.”(NLT) So we take things about God into our souls through listening, reading, observing, and the many other ways He chooses to show Himself to us, thereby making us conscience of our own unholiness.
But that's not the "big" revelation, either. After reading John 6:63 I realized the nature of Jesus being the Word made flesh. God took me back to Genesis 1:3 when God said, "Let there be light." Well, having done a small amount of Google-ing on that phrase, I have discovered that a precisely literal translation of the Hebrew words for that verse would be as follows, "Light be. Light was." ( http://www.maryphilkorsak.com/1workshop.html Quoted from The Art of Literary Translation, British Council Literary
These are the first words we have recorded that God said.
Here's the biggy that boggled my noggin: Jesus is God's voice and an expression of God. This is not to say that Jesus poofed into existence when God spoke creation into being. Just as God always was and always will be, so is Jesus. "Before Abraham was, I AM." are the words of our Savior. (John 8:58) That being said, as humans we have different ways to express who we are. When we speak or do anything we are demonstrating who we are inside. Jesus said in John 5:19 that He does only what He sees the Father doing. That's present tense, by the way. Was the Father eating in Heaven precisely when Jesus was eating here on Earth? Let that thought do some tricks on ya. But it gets better. If Jesus is the "Logos", the Word of God and God's first word for us was "Light..." and Jesus says, "I am the Light of the world..." then I believe that Jesus is a touchable, tangible, manifestation of the heart of God who is also light (1 John 1:5). When God spoke our reality into existence He had already predestined that His voice would live among us. By His voice living here, so did He also live here. The part of God that we have in Jesus is his voice, His light, and His plan to save us before we even began.
Rather than start a debate about the pre-existence of Jesus in God, let me just point out the most important part of the revelation. The life of our own words. Since we are made in God's image, we too exist within our words. Who we are is manifest in the words we speak. It's almost as if the words we say have a life of their own! Just read James chapter three and remember all whom we've hurt with our words. If our voices could become, say, digital code and be broadcast on radio waves then we could communicate across the globe in a matter of seconds. Would you say that my voice on a phone call isn't me? It is a manifestation of who I am and the way I communicate to you. In the same way Jesus is God's voice and His heart made into a form that we can fellowship with and follow closely after.
Maybe that's not a HUGE paradigm shift for you. It's pretty common that something so simple a child could understand it is difficult for my pile of intellect to grasp. It is very helpful for me to write it and see it in a somewhat cohesive picture. Thanks for reading, if you made it this far then you are top notch in my book! Maybe I should just write a book and THEN share it with the world. But it does help me to blog.