John 6: 51-58
51I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live for ever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.’
52 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ 53So Jesus said to them, ‘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. 54Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; 55for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. 56Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. 57Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. 58This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live for ever.’
It's dark o'clock in a lesser known satanic backwater, and the ever wiley serpent is cooking up some trouble for those wretched humans who are hurrying and scurrying around on the earth, circa 30 AD.
Satan (to lesser satanic minion): Hey, you, we need to move fast. The Son of Man, that idiot human who wouldn't follow me even though I promised him all the kingdoms; he's causing more trouble by talking about his body again.
Lesser satanic minion (groaning): Oh no...what now?!
Satan: Well, he's calling himself the bread of life or some such nonsense. It's looking bad.
Minion: That is bad...they like their bread down there. Kind of staple diet, isn't it? The Israelites went crazy for that manna stuff too.
Satan: I know. Only good thing about that was they forgot God gave it to them and died in the wilderness anyway.
Minion: Yeh, what losers. But if this Son of Man guy is coming up with new bread jargon, what are we going to do? They all love him anyway - this'll just make it worse.
Satan: Yes, it may do...on the other hand, if I'm not mistaken, people are a bit hacked off about the extremes he's taking it too. I mean he appears to be saying he's going to give his body and blood for everyone. That's cannibalism isn't it?
Minion: Yes, frankly, even though I am a huge fan of all things evil, I'm appalled at this Son of Man bloke. I mean, common decency an' all that...it's disgusting.
Satan: He is dangerous, there's no doubt. This sort of thing can spark revolutions. If it goes on much more we're going to have to see he is.... extinguished.
Minion: Yes Sir...would you like to me to incite the crowd? They're a pretty fickle lot you know.
Satan: That should do it. Then all this pious talk of self sacrifice will cease, and we'll be free of him for ever.
Minion: We need to make sure no one remembers the living bread talk - they might try and perpetuate it or something.
Satan: I've thought of that. How about we sew some demonic seeds amongst his followers?
Minion: How do you mean, Guv?
Satan: Well, if this body and blood business is important to him, perhaps we should make sure they can never agree on what he meant by it.
Minion: Oh, you mean like with those dimwits in the Garden of Eden - fell out over whose fault it was about the apple? That was amusing...
Satan: Precisely, but this time we'll come on stronger...I'm thinking of multiple factions down the centuries - people who claim they're following him but who are willing to denounce each other, maybe put each other to death, over how best to remember him...
Minion: Yes, maybe we could do it via the twisting of words again...Did he really mean his flesh, or was it just symbolic...that kind of thing...
Satan: Good one...surely he didn't mean we are really eating his flesh; it's just bread...or...it really is flesh underneath but it looks like bread...or even...you don't need the bread, only faith...
Minion: I'm getting the picture...and they could claim that those who didn't agree with them were going to hell. I'm even picturing some bonfires for 'heretics'...of course each side would accuse the other of being heretics...so that's quite a lot of bonfires...
Satan: Yes, and when they've had that 'Enlightenment' thingy and they've gone all tolerant and post-modern we can still keep them in different camps, distrusting one another and calling each other names, never able to agree in principle over who's saved and who's not.
Minion: That's absolutely brilliant. When do we start?