1 Kings 8:1-43
We need to start with a short (?) Greek language lesson. Beginning in verse 5, the verb phagōsin (eat) first appears (in chapter 6) for the feeding of 5,000. Forms of the word are found in verses 23, 26, 31, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, and 58; in each case it is translated as eat, ate, etc. The word is found 158 times in the New Testament.
The second word we need to look at is trōgō (crunching, gnawing, chewing) found only 6 times in the NT, once in Matthew [Matthew 24:38. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark. NIV] and 5 times in John. We see it in this reading in verses 54, 56, 57, and 58. [John 13:15. I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill this passage of Scripture: ‘He who shared my bread has turned against me. NIV Psalm 41:9]
These last four verses use a harsher word. Here are a few examples. The one who feasts on me. Cotton Patch Whoever feeds on my flesh. ESV Most translate it as ate and the Expanded Bible has this note: Those who ·eat [feed on; Jesus uses a different Greek word for “eat” in vv. 54–57 than in the previous verses; but the difference is probably stylistic]
I began this rabbit trail because the NET records the early word as esthio. The word does mean eat, but I could not find the word used anywhere in the assigned reading. My conclusion is that someone made a small error. That’s one out of 60,932 notations.
56 The man who eats my body and drinks my blood shares my life and I share his. Phillips This is a statement explaining what Jesus is getting at. If we take in the words of Jesus (to eat his flesh) and imitate his life (drink his blood), we will live forever with God in all his forms.
57 Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so the one who consumes me will live because of me. NET This gives us another look at how we will be fed. God fed Jesus and Jesus feeds us. Remember that Jesus was human. To maintain his perfection, he had to be constantly refreshed by God. I don’t believe that Jesus was God. He is called the Son of God in the NT, but never God.
I think the Son of God is an expression we can get our human heads around. If we try to imagine God, who is both larger than the universe and not of this universe, becoming a human; it would be like stuffing an elephant into a baby sock.
God did something much more impressive. He created a fully human baby with perfection in his genes and allowed that baby to grow up in a human family; to be trained by the family and others much as any human would be, except his DNA allowed him to always hear the voice of God, his Father. Even as a fetus, he knew the presence of God.
All these sayings create panic in his followers.
60 Many of his disciples heard him say these things, and commented, “This is hard teaching indeed; who could accept that?” Phillips They seem to have taken Jesus’ words literally and were disgusted, grossed out. And we should be grossed out if Jesus expected us to chew on his tibia.
That was not his message. We are to feed on his word and drink the power juice called the Holy Spirit. It all comes from God.
63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. ESV This is the lesson.
68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.” NIV
Be righteous and do good.