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John 6:27

Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.

What did He mean by the phrase as applied to Himself?

I wonder if this word usage has anything to do with the meaning in Ephesians, in which the Spirit is a seal in us, signifying that the owner who pressed his signet into the goods will return later to pick it up. A seal of ownership.

Ephesians 1:13

In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,

EDIT: I found this sentence in another QA on this site that clears it up: "The metaphor of sealing is a common one for giving attestation" to a truth. God the Father attests to the truth of who Jesus is.

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I am convinced that you are making the right connection. You can also throw 2 Corinthians 1:22 to the mix.

The Son of God that was sealed with the Spirit, died and rose from the death so we the believers can also become sons and daughters of God that are sealed by His power.

God, for whom and through whom everything was made, chose to bring many children into glory. And it was only right that he should make Jesus, through his suffering, a perfect leader, fit to bring them into their salvation. So now Jesus and the ones he makes holy have the same Father. That is why Jesus is not ashamed to call them his brothers and sisters. Hebrews 2:10-11

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  • See also Eph 4:30.
    – Dottard
    Feb 11, 2023 at 3:17
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Work not for the food that is perishing, but for the food that is remaining to life age-during, which the Son of Man will give to you, for him did the Father seal -- even God.' John 6:27 YLT

The word seal is defined here.

4972 sphragízō (from 4973 /sphragís, "a seal") – properly, to seal (affix) with a signet ring or other instrument to stamp (a roller or seal), i.e. to attest ownership, authorizing (validating) what is sealed. 4972 /sphragízō ("to seal") signifies ownership and the full security carried by the backing (full authority) of the owner. "Sealing" in the ancient world served as a "legal signature" which guaranteed the promise (contents) of what was sealed

So in light of what the word seal means, It shows that God the Father is backing up Jesus word with His signature Himself upon Jesus. What Jesus is saying is true that the son of man will give food which will last until the age.

Jesus wanted the people to know that it is the Father who gives the true bread out of heaven. He goes on to explain that in verses 33-40.

He had already fed them once with fish and bread to their full which only lasted for a day. He wanted them to have food that would last a really long time. God's seal on Jesus will make it happen when they come to Him for this food. Again God is taking ownership of Jesus and His word and is the guarantee of the truth that He spoke to them. Remember everything that Jesus spoke came from the Father.

For I have not spoken from my own authority, but the Father himself who sent me has commanded me what I should say and what I should speak. John 12:49

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Jesus simply means that the Father has shown Him to have His authority.


Has set His seal on translates the single Greek word σφραγίζω (sphragizō), which is related to the word σφραγίς (sphragis) - seal - used to describe the seal (or signet) that a king would put on a royal decree or writing*, e.g.

And they brought a stone, and put it on the mouth of the den; and the king sealed [ἐσφραγίσατο] it with his ring, and with the ring of his nobles; that the case might not be altered with regard to Daniel (Daniel 6:18 LXX)

Some paraphrase Bibles like the NIV have translated the phrase in John 6:27 His seal of approval.


Theophylact explains this phrase (translated from the Greek):

By the words, on Him God the Father has set His seal, He shows that the power of working miracles, and the authority to save men, were given to Him by the Father. For it was customary among men, when they wished to send someone with authority, to give him a signet ring [σφραγὶς] as a pledge of the power entrusted to him. Therefore, Christ was given to us by the Father as a pledge of His authority, and He was sealed with the Holy Spirit, who bore witness to Him at His baptism (PG 123:701)


* The English word seal in the context of a mark or emblem indicating authority or authenticity has its origins in the Old French word seel, which meant a seal or stamp used to make an impression on wax or clay. The Old French word seel itself was derived from the Latin word sigillum which is a diminutive form of the noun signum, which meant a sign or mark (the Latin version of John 6:27 uses the verb signare). The word signum is also the origin of the English word sign, which has a similar meaning of indicating or representing something. The Saxon word was also derived from the Latin word left by the Romans to their ancestors. The modern German word for seal is Siegel. The Old English (Saxon) version of John 6:27 in the Lindesfarne Gospels is

Nelle ge wircað þa mete þe forweornað, ac þa mete þe standeð on ece lif, þone mete mannes sunu eow sylð; for þæm þe God se Fæder his sette his sele on hym.

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