When it comes to communion, the Gospel of John is different than Matthew, Mark, and Luke. In each of those Gospels, Jesus clearly institutes the Lord’s Supper.
Matthew 26:26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” (NIV®)
Mark 14:23 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it. (NIV®)
Luke 22:20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. (NIV®)
But in John, although John 13-17 records the Last Supper, we aren’t given a replay of the Lord’s Supper. However, earlier in John chapter 6 Jesus says something that sounds a lot like the Lord’s Supper.
John 6:53-54 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. (NIV®)
When Jesus first said this, his disciples were confused and the crowds thought he was crazy (John 6:52,60). How can you eat someone’s body and drink their blood? Jesus is using “metaphorical language” to teach us a spiritual truth (John 6:63). If you want eternal life, you need to receive Christ (John 17:3). You need to know him, to be in relationship with him. You need to get real about your faith (John 6:40).
John 17:3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. (NIV®)
Communion is not just a ritual. Communion is taking some time to be in communion with Jesus Christ. We do this by remembering him and savoring how he gave his body and shed his blood for us. Today, if you want to know Christ, eat his flesh and drink his blood by worshipping him, loving him, getting to know him. Get real about your faith.
But if you’re not ready to be in relationship with Christ, then please don’t take the Lord’s Supper. But the good news about this table is that it is always set. Christ Jesus invites you to come and dine with him. Be in communion with him. Let me pray for this time.
Pastor Jonathan wrote this reflection on the Lord’s Supper. Read past reflections here.