How literal was Jesus: “I am the bread of life”

Question: How literal was Jesus when he said, “I am the bread of life”?

In John 6:53, Jesus reiterates in order to make it very clear by expressing this in the negative. He said, “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.”

Jesus probably knew what they were thinking when he said this. Some would misinterpret what he said and have the idea of cannibalism. Cannibalism existed. Back then, Roman Emperors believed that if they ate the flesh and blood of their enemies, they would be victorious over their enemies. Pharoahs also believed that eating the flesh of gods will allow them to live forever. This type of cannibalism existed in many cultures in many nations. It existed amongst the Greeks, Persians, in South America, Africa, Asia, Pacific Islands. All over the world.

So maybe it wasn’t so off the wall or strange that Jesus carried over this idea as a tool to teach, as an example, that if they were to follow him and gave victory over death, they needed to eat of his flesh and drink of his blood in order to live eternally.

Jesus said in v.40, that the will of his Father was that all who sees Jesus and believes in him may have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day. Jesus came to earth IOT do the will of his heavenly Father. He said “very truly, I tell you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life.” (v47-48).

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