6:52 The Jews therefore contended with one another, saying,
"How can this man give us his flesh to eat?"
6:53 Jesus therefore said to them,
"Most assuredly I tell you,
unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood,
you don't have life in yourselves.
6:54 He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life,
and I will raise him up at the last day.
6:55 For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
6:56 He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me, and I in him.
6:57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father;
so he who feeds on me, he will also live because of me.
6:58 This is the bread which came down out of heaven--
not as our fathers ate the manna, and died. He who eats this bread will live forever."
6:59 These things he said in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.
6:60 Therefore many of his disciples, when they heard this, said,
"This is a hard saying! Who can listen to it?"
6:61 But Jesus knowing in himself that his disciples murmured at this, said to them,
"Does this cause you to stumble?
6:62 Then what if you would see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?
6:63 It is the spirit who gives life. The flesh profits nothing.
The words that I speak to you are spirit, and are life.
6:66 At this, many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with
6:67 Jesus said therefore to the twelve, "You don't also want to go away, do you?"
6:68 Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom would we go?
You have the words of eternal life.
6:69 We have come to believe and know that you are the Christ,
the Son of the living God."
6:70 Jesus answered them,
"Didn't I choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?"
6:71 Now he spoke of Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot,
for it was he who would betray him, being one of the twelve.
The Crowd: "Who does he think he is? He's just one of us, an
Jesus: "I understand that you don't believe, but you won't be able to believe until you have gone through the process of the Father drawing you to me. If you learn from the Father, then you will come to me. Once again I say that I am the bread of life and whoever eats this bread will live forever."
The Crowd: "We're not cannibals. We're not going to eat your flesh."
Jesus: "Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood you have no life in you. But if you do so then you will have eternal life."
The Crowd: "That's too hard too and too offensive to accept."
Jesus: "You think that's hard! It wouldn't be so hard if you saw me in my element. You shouldn't have such fleshy interpretations of what I say. Use your spirit to infer what I really mean, and then you will have life. But the unbelievers among you are not able to do so at this time."
Jesus to his apostles: "What about you
guys, are you going to leave too?"
Peter: "There's not much of an option there. There's no where to go. You have the words of eternal life and no one else does. We believe you are the Christ, the Son of God."
Jesus: "Not all of you believe that. Even though I've chosen you let not that fact be your security for I tell you that one of you is like a devil."
Many interpret what Jesus says not in the spirit in which he says it, but rather in a fleshy sense. Thus for example some view what Jesus is saying in these sections of John 6 as referring to the communion service, in which the bread of communion - a material thing - is viewed as imparting eternal life to people. But it is not fleshly material things which give life. Such an interpretation is not much different than the cannibalism idea brought up here. It is characteristic of the occult to assign magical properties to material things. And yet such leaven is present in the Christian community among those who for example view the water of baptism as having magical powers or the bread of communion as having magical powers. It is the Spirit which gives life. These fleshly things count for nothing but symbolism. To take them in any other sense is to invite occultic ideas into the body of Christ.
Partaking of the body and blood of the Lord occurs when one hears and believes his word. One is then born of the Spirit of God and has Christ living in him by proxy in the form of the Holy Spirit. Such a person is reckoned to have been crucified with Christ and as such forgiven of sin but also the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit renews one's life unto holiness.
Many, like Peter, presume that all their fellow Christians are saved. But Peter was deceived. For Judas, one of the twelve, Jesus likened to a devil, even then before the betrayal. Many Christians are deceived on this point. And even later in leading the church of Jerusalem Peter continued to be gullible. It took Paul to rebuke him and to point out the false brethren in the church of Jerusalem, of whom he wrote, "This matter arose because some false brothers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves." Gal 2:4 And yet James, Peter and John all gullibly tolerated such men in their midst. Beware of the wolves among the sheep. "Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world." 1John 4:1