The Jews then complained about Him, because He said, “I am the bread which came down from heaven.” 42 And they said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, ‘I have come down from heaven’?”
43 Jesus therefore answered and said to them, “Do not murmur among yourselves. 44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me. 46 Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father. 47 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 50 This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”
52 The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?”
53 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. 56 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. 58 This is the bread which came down from heaven—not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever.”
59 These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum. – John 6:41-59.
Jesus teaches that those who come to Him are drawn by the Father. He goes on to say that everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Him.
He then develops the thought of Himself as the Bread of Life. He says no one may have everlasting life without eating His flesh and drinking His blood. The disciples are offended by this difficult saying and do not understand it. Jesus then explains that He is speaking spiritually. This is merely an illustrative parallel, and not a literal cannibalistic requirement! He is talking about spiritual faith in Christ, and stresses that it is belief that saves.
You do not just come to Jesus. The Father must draw you to Him and He draws you to Him through His word – through preaching of the gospel. Jesus is our spiritual nourishment. By regularly and genuinely ‘consuming’ Him we abide in Him and He in us. Just as Jesus lives because of the Father, those who ‘feed’ on Him will have life and will live forever.
Over the years, some people have sought to support a wrong view of the meaning of the Lord’s Supper from these verses, but Jesus is clearly teaching a spiritual belief in Him through a dramatic illustration. Nowhere in the Bible is it taught that the bread and the wine actually become His flesh and His blood. If that were a requirement for everlasting life, then all of His physical disciples would be lost because at the time they ate the Last Supper with Him in the upper room, He had not even died upon the cross, and clearly His body and blood were intact!