Robertson's Word Pictures of the New TestamentJohn 6:54
- He that eateth (o trwgwn).
- Present active participle for continual or habitual eating like pisteuete in verse 29. The verb trwgw is an old one for eating fruit or vegetables and the feeding of animals. In the N.T. it occurs only in John 6:54,56,58; 13:18; Matthew 24:38. Elsewhere in the Gospels always estiw or epagon (defective verb with estiw). No distinction is made here between epagon (48,50,52,53,58) and trwgw (54,56,57,58). Some men understand Jesus here to be speaking of the Lord's Supper by prophetic forecast or rather they think that John has put into the mouth of Jesus the sacramental conception of Christianity by making participation in the bread and wine the means of securing eternal life. To me that is a violent misinterpretation of the Gospel and an utter misrepresentation of Christ. It is a grossly literal interpretation of the mystical symbolism of the language of Jesus which these Jews also misunderstood. Christ uses bold imagery to picture spiritual appropriation of himself who is to give his life-blood for the life of the world (51). It would have been hopeless confusion for these Jews if Jesus had used the symbolism of the Lord's Supper. It would be real dishonesty for John to use this discourse as a propaganda for sacramentalism. The language of Jesus can only have a spiritual meaning as he unfolds himself as the true manna.