That's not true with the eucharist. Catholics believe Christ was literally
present in the body and wine during the Last Supper -- something that we
do NOT get from reading scripture.
Take a lookie here, Jimbo:
(a). Jesus Promises His Real Presence in the Eucharist
John 6:4, 11-14 - on the eve of Passover, Jesus multiplies the loaves.
This foreshadows the infinite heavenly bread which is Him.
Matt. 14:19, 15:36; Mark 6:41, 8:6; Luke 9:16 - additional accounts of
the multiplication miracles. This points to the Eucharist.
Matt. 16:12 - Jesus explains His metaphorical use of the term "bread."
In John 6, He eliminates any metaphorical possibilities.
John 6:24 - Jesus is in Capernaum on eve of Passover, and the lambs are
gathered to be slaughtered and eaten. Look what He says.
John 6:35,41,48,51 - Jesus says four times "I AM the bread from heaven."
It is He, Himself, the eternal bread from heaven.
John 6:27,31,49 - there is a parallel between the manna in the desert
which was physically consumed, and this "new" bread which must be
John 6:51-52- then Jesus says that this bread is His flesh. The Jews
take Him literally and immediately question such a teaching.
John 6:53 - Jesus eliminates any metaphorical interpretations by
swearing an oath and being even more literal about eating His flesh.
John 6:53-58 - Jesus says four times we must eat His flesh and drink His
blood. Phago = to eat meat. Trogos = gnaw or crunch.
John 6:23-53 - Jesus uses "phago" nine times. "Phago" literally means
"to eat." The disciples take issue with this. So Jesus does what?
John 6:54-58 - He uses an even more literal verb, "trogo, " which means
to gnaw or chew or crunch. He increases the literalness.
Matt. 24:38; John 13:18 - "phago" is used here too, and it means to
literally gnaw or chew meat. "Phago" is never used metaphorically in
John 6:55 - to clarify further, Jesus says "For My Flesh is food indeed,
and My Blood is drink indeed." Jesus uses "sarx" which means flesh (not
"soma" which means body).
Jn 1:13,14; 3:6; 8:15; 17:2; Mt 16:17; 19:5; 24:22; 26:41; Mk 10:8;
13:20; 14:38; Lk 3:6; 24:39 - sarx = flesh = always literal.
John 6:55 - "real" food and "real" drink = "alethes" = really or truly.
Jesus is emphasizing the reality of His body and blood being actual food
John 6:60 - disciples are scandalized. They even ask, "Who can 'listen'
to it (much less understand it)?" It seems grotesque.
John 6:61-63 - Jesus acknowledges their disgust. Jesus' use of the
"spirit gives life" means the disciples need supernatural faith, not
John 3:6 - Jesus often used the comparison of spirit versus flesh to
teach about the supernatural versus the natural level of faith.
Mark 14:38 - here Jesus also uses spirit/flesh comparison. The spirit is
willing but the flesh is weak. We must go beyond the natural to
understand the supernatural.
1 Cor. 2:14,3:3; Rom 8:5; Gal. 5:17 - spirit/flesh relates to
unspiritual people not receiving the gift of faith. They are still "in
John 6:63 - also, there is not one place in Scripture where "spirit"
means "symbolic." Spirit relates to supernatural faith. What words are
spirit and life? The words that we must eat His flesh and drink His
blood, or we have no life in us.
John 6:66-67 - many disciples leave, rejecting this literal
interpretation. If they were wrong, Jesus would have corrected them.
Mark 4:34 - Jesus always explained to His disciples the real meanings of
His teachings. He never would have let them go away with a false
John 6:37 - Jesus says He would not drive those away from Him. They
understood Him correctly but would not believe.
John 3:5,11; Matt. 16:11-12 - some examples of Jesus correcting wrong
impressions of His teaching. In the Eucharistic discourse, Jesus does
not correct the scandalized disciples.
John 6:64,70 - Jesus ties disbelief in the Real Presence of the
Eucharist to Judas' betrayal. Those who don't believe in this miracle
Isaiah 9:20; 49:26; Mic. 3:3; 2 Sam. 23:17; Rev. 16:6; 17:6, 16 -
symbolically eating body & blood = physical assault.
John 6:54 - thus, if Jesus were speaking symbolically, He would be
saying "He who reviles or assaults me has eternal life."
John 10:7 - I am the "door." No one asked Jesus if He was literally made
of wood. They understood him metaphorically.
John 15:1,5 - I am the "vine." No one asked Jesus if He was literally a
vine. In John 6, Jesus' disciples did ask about His literal speech (that
this bread was His flesh which must be eaten). They understood Him and
Matt. 18:2-5 - Jesus says we must become like children, or we will not
enter the kingdom of God. We must believe Jesus' words with child-like
faith. Because Jesus says this bread is His flesh, we believe by faith,
even though it surpasses our understanding.
Luke 1:37 - with God, nothing is impossible. If we can believe in the
Incarnation, we can certainly believe in the Real Presence. God coming
to us in elements He created is an extension of the awesome mystery of
(b). Jesus Institutes the Eucharist / More Proofs of the Real Presence
Matt. 26:26-28; Mk. 14:22,24; Lk 22;19-20; 1 Cor. 11:24-25 - this IS my
body and blood, not a symbol of my body and blood.
Matt. 26:26; Mk. 14:22; Lk 22:19-20 - Touto estin to soma mou = "this is
actually" or "this is really" my body and blood.
1 Cor. 11:24 - same translation = touto mou estin to soma = "this is
really." God does not declare something without making it so.
Matt. 26:26; Mk. 14:22; Lk 22:19 - Aramaic had over 30 words for
"represent," but Jesus did not use any of them. He used estin = is.
Matt. 26:28; Mk. 14:24; Lk 22:20 - Jesus' use of "poured out" in
reference to His blood emphasizes the reality of its presence.
Exodus 24:8 - Jesus emphasizes the reality of His actual blood being
present by using Moses' statement "blood of the covenant."
1 Cor. 10:16 - the cup of blessing and the bread of which we partake, is
it not an actual participation in Christ's body and blood? Paul's
questions are obviously rhetorical. "Koinonia" = actual participation.
This IS the actual body and blood.
1 Cor. 10:18 - Paul is saying we are what we eat. We are not partners
with a symbol. We are partners of the one actual body.
1 Cor. 11:23 - Paul received directly from Jesus instructions on the
Eucharist which is the source and summit of the Christian faith.
1 Cor. 11:27-29 - eating or drinking in an unworthy manner = profaning
(murdering) the body and blood of the Lord. If this is just a symbol, we
cannot be guilty of actually profaning (murdering) it. We cannot murder
1 Cor. 11:30 - receiving the actual body and blood of Jesus in mortal
sin results in actual physical consequences to our bodies.
1 Cor. 11:27-30 - thus, being guilty of murdering the body + physical
consequences to our bodies = strong evidence for the Real Presence.
These are unjust penalties if the Eucharist is just a symbol.
Acts 2:42 - from the Church's inception apostolic tradition included
celebrating the Eucharist (the "breaking of bread") to fulfill Jesus'
command "do this in remembrance of me."
Acts 20:28 - Paul charges the Church elders to "feed" the Church of
Lord, that is, with the flesh and blood of Christ.
Matt. 6:11; Luke 11:3 - in the Our Father, we ask God to give us this
day our daily bread, that is the bread of life, Jesus Christ.
Luke 14:15 - blessed is he who eats this bread in the kingdom of God, on
earth and in heaven.
Lk 22:19, 1 Cor. 11:24-25 - Jesus commands apostles to "do this,"
is, offer the Eucharistic sacrifice, in remembrance of Him.
Luke 24:26-35 - Jesus gives a homily on the Scriptures and follows it
with the celebration of the Eucharist. This is the Holy Mass.
Luke 24:30-31,35 - Jesus is known only in the breaking of bread. We only
receive the fullness of Jesus by celebrating the Eucharistic feast
John 1:14 - the Word was made flesh and "pitched His tabernacle"
us. The Eucharist is stored in tabernacles around the world.
John 21:15,17 - Jesus charges Peter to "feed" His sheep, that is,
the Word of God through preaching and the Eucharist.
1 Cor. 12:13 - we "drink" of one Spirit in the Eucharist by
the blood of Christ eternally offered to the Father.
Heb. 10:25,29 - failing to meet together to celebrate the Eucharist is
mortal sin. It is profaning the body and blood of the Lord.
Heb. 12:22-23 - the Eucharistic liturgy brings about full union with
angels in festal gathering, the just spirits, and God Himself, which
takes place in the assembly or "ecclesia" (the Church).
Heb. 12:24 - we couldn't come to Jesus' sprinkled blood if it was no
longer offered by Jesus to the Father and made present for us.
2 Pet. 1:4 - we partake of His divine nature, most notably through the
Eucharist - a sacred family bond where we become one.
Rev. 2:7; 22:14 - we are invited to eat of the tree of life, which is
the resurrected flesh of Jesus which, before, hung on the tree.
Continued in Part 2