53 Then the Jews fell to disputing with one another, How can this man give us his flesh to eat ? 54 Whereupon Jesus said to them, Believe me when I tell you this; you can have no life in yourselves, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his blood. 55 The man who eats my flesh and drinks my blood enjoys eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 56 My flesh is real food, my blood is real drink. 57 He who eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, lives continually in me, and I in him. 58 As I live because of the Father, the living Father who has sent me, so he who eats me will live, in his turn, because of me. 59 Such is the bread which has come down from heaven; it is not as it was with your fathers, who ate manna and died none the less; the man who eats this bread will live eternally.
** τρώγων - to gnaw, crunch, munch. (This is how this would have been heard, which explains the reaction of His followers.)*
60 He said all this while he was teaching in the synagogue, at Capharnaum. 61* And there were many of his disciples who said, when they heard it, This is strange talk, who can be expected to listen to it?* 62 But Jesus, inwardly aware that his disciples were complaining over it, said to them, Does this try your faith? 63 What will you make of it, if you see the Son of Man ascending to the place where he was before? 64 Only the spirit gives life; the flesh is of no avail; and the words I have been speaking to you are spirit, and life. 65 But there are some, even among you, who do not believe. Jesus knew from the first which were those who did not believe, and which of them was to betray him. 66 And he went on to say, That is what I meant when I told you that nobody can come to me unless he has received the gift from my Father. 67 After this, many of his disciples went back to their old ways, and walked no more in his company. 68 Whereupon Jesus said to the twelve, Would you, too, go away? 69 Simon Peter answered him,* Lord, to whom should we go? Thy words are the words of eternal life; 70 we have learned to believe, and are assured that thou art the Christ, the Son of God.*
Doesn’t even have the air of figurative speech to my ears, nor to the ears of His audience at the time. He went to special care to find the words which portrayed the meaning of what He was speaking of. If there are groups who protest the real presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist, that is a matter between them and God. I am certainly in no place to judge, as I myself am a late life convert to the Catholic view of the real presence. But once seen, I can now no longer un-see it. This is a set of tumblers, that at least for me, fell permanently into place. The real presence has changed my life in virtually every way. Thanks be to God. I encourage fellow Christians to pray the Gospel of John, slowly, and meditatively, over a period of time, with the Holy Spirit, and understanding of the languages, and times. More than any other written material, it is the Gospel of John where the spirit spoke to me, leading me in conversion.