It’s helpful to point out that in beginning in v.54 through v.58 of John 6, the verb tense of eat and drink is in the present, which means Christ is teaching the importance of a continuous, ongoing action. This is also put forth in v.56 with the outcome of this eating and drinking as abiding in him and also Christ abiding in the one who eats and drinks. This is the first occurrence of abiding in Christ in the gospel of John and even the word itself implies persistency in one’s pursuit of Christ.
This implies that Christ is not interested in followers who have a superficial adherence to him with mere lip service. No, he must be their all continually. This means that in John 6, Christ is not only teaching how one obtains a right relationship with God by believing in him, but also the necessity of feasting on Christ through faith throughout one’s life.
In doing so, Jesus uses this analogy of continually consuming food and drink in comparison to believing in him. This should be greatly expanding our understanding of faith. Faith is far beyond muttering some words about Christ or having a few emotional experiences. Faith prioritizes feeding on Christ through his word as necessary as your daily food. Can you go days without digesting anything of Christ because you convince yourself you are too busy or you just forget? Here’s a question to ask yourself—Were you also too busy or too forgetful to eat physical food during the same time period? You say, “No, of course not. My body needs food to function.” So your soul doesn’t? Are you so self-sufficient and self-sustaining that your soul does not need ongoing nourishment? Where did you find that teaching in Scripture? That represents high level pride and unbelief.
Jesus says, “I came to give sinners life as those sinners abide in me” and we say, “I appreciate the promise of life Jesus, and I look forward to heaven, but I’ve got it covered here. I find the sustenance for my ongoing life here in this life—the things you say represent food that perishes, but I find great comfort and security in the significance and satisfaction I receive from people and positions and performance. You really can’t expect me to maintain in a state of humble dependence on you in faith for all of my life. I need to live my life and get things done and accomplish my goals.”
That’s exactly how his demands are ridiculed and there’s nothing to show for that kind of life because the world and its lusts are passing away, so to love those things and link oneself to those things leads to death.