“The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.”
My friend uses these words as a reason to not believe Jesus was speaking literally about eating his flesh and blood.
Here’s what he said:
“[Jesus] said what he said on purpose to weed out those who didn’t believe. He said, ‘the words I have spoken to you are spirit and life’ (John 6:63). Previously he had said, ‘He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life.’ The eating of flesh and drinking of blood is a metaphor for ‘the words I have spoken to you are spirit and life’. Those who didn’t believe didn’t ‘get it’ - which is exactly what he intended.”
“Also, again, repeating something twelve times, and four times, does not make it literal. And actually, he did correct them. In response to many of his disciples saying, 'This is a hard saying. Who can listen to it? He explicitly said his words were spirit and life, the flesh avails nothing. THAT is what he’s talking about; ‘words’ not ‘flesh’ - but those who didn’t believe didn’t understand his explanation.”
"No, Jesus had not just commanded his disciples to eat his flesh; he had commanded them to accept his words. His command was couched in metaphor, so that those who didn’t believe would not understand, and stop following him around (John 6:66). Jesus asked the twelve, ‘Do you also wish to go away?’ Notice Peter’s answer, “You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”