“Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have not life in yourselves.”
“How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” John 6:53, 52
If it is imperative that a new entity is demanded for entrance into the Kingdom of God now; it is equally imperative that such entities shall be sustained and matured. The New Testament is full and emphatic on this matter. In the miracle which led to the statement of the Lord, it is clear that He both recognizes this necessity and acts supernaturally to meet it. If the new birth is supernatural, so is the sustenance of the newborn. If we try to grasp either naturally, as did Nicodemus, we shall, as he, be defeated by the “How”. The basic mystery was the plight of the Pharisees in John 6 as it was in the Pharisee of John 3. But it is not the method or process that is of primary concern, but the fact. And yet the “How” is answered in the New Testament. Let us first, however, get quite clear on this that we have got to be fed in our new spiritual life for its maintenance as truly as the natural body has to have food. Then, it is as true in the spiritual as in the natural that normality is marked by growth unto maturity. And, finally, that full, abundant, provision is made for this by the Lord, even to twelve baskets ‘full over’. Is it necessary at this point to take time to show that it is not normal to be born again and finish there? The whole New Testament is against such an idea or state!
But when we have said that, what of this “How” by which the imperative is answered, and the “Except ye” satisfied?
The superficial answer is – of course – feeding, and feeding on Christ. If many Christians were asked what that means, they would probably answer that it is feeding on His Word. Thus it might resolve itself into reading a ‘portion’ of the Bible every day. That is very good, and important; but is that what ‘feeding’ really is? Is it not what Christ becomes to us through the Word?
Now this is an immense matter, because Christ is so immense, and by this ‘feeding’ an immense Body has to be brought to full-growth and stand complete in eternity. It is what Paul calls “the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”. Here, we can only give an indication of what this feeding is, and it will point to much more.