When Jesus spoke about eating his flesh and drinking his blood, did the disciples leave because they thought Jesus taught cannibalism?

Jesus made very clear that his “literal” flesh is “bread” that must be consumed:

  • “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” 51
  • “This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.” 58

Jesus was very explicit that the “bread” you eat is truly his flesh:

  • “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.” 53
  • “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.” 54
  • “For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.” 55
  • “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.” 56
  • “Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.” 57

Jesus literally transforms into bread. This transformation includes his full resurrected body, blood, soul and divinity. The accidents of bread remains (e.g. taste, texture, appearance). He literally becomes bread; the “Bread of Life” like he preached in the Bread of Life Discourse in John Chapter 6.

The New American Bible, Revised Edition

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