25 “When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, ‘Rabbi, when did you get here?’
26 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.
27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”
28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” John 6:25-29
I believe that John 6 is simply the fulfillment of Psalm 23 and is the record of the first real communion service. In John 6 we learn Jesus is the Messiah, He is the one in whom we must have communion and intimacy with in order to have a spiritual relationship with God. We also learn in verses 25 through 29 how that relationship is established.
The people are astonished that Jesus is on the other side of the lake while the boats are still run up on the beach on their side of the lake. How did He get there? Jesus response is to tell the people that the spiritual life is not all about experience it is about relationship. “Do not labor for the food which perished, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you; for on Him has God the Father set His seal.”
Notice, that the people who labor are those who see Christianity as something that gives them stuff. These are the people who flock to the prosperity gospel evangelists and cling to every word of some TV pastor as he assures the listening public that they can prosper if they just plant “the seeds” of faith by contributing to his ministry.
Jesus calls it labor because it is a works based belief. It is the belief that what God really wants for you is prosperity and that you deserve to have everything in life go well for you because you are a Christian.
Well that’s not what Jesus is saying in these verses. He says people who chase after miracles, supernatural experience, and wealth are missing the point of what it means to know God. What is important is having eternal life and that only comes through the Son of Man and He gives it as a gift. (v. 27)
I hear Christians talking a lot about being sealed and what the seal of God really is, but in so many cases they are wrong about it. According to verse 27 “for on Him has God the Father set His seal.” If you have Jesus dwell within your heart you have the seal of God, and how is this accomplished?
“In Him you also who have heard the word of truth, the Gospel of your salvation, and have believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, which is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of His glory.” Ephesians 1:13, 14
The seal of God is the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life that gives assurance of your redemption in Jesus Christ for anyone who believes in Him. John 6:40 reads, “For this is the will of my Father, that every one who sees the Son and believes in Him should have eternal life; and I will raise Him up at the last day.”
If you try to make the seal of God anything but what the plain word of God tells you, you do not believe in the grace of Jesus but laboring for your own salvation. The contrast between laboring and working is very simple in Scripture. You believe and are sealed and have the promise of eternal life or you labor for signs, wonders, miracles, and healings to prove you are a child of God. The seal of God has nothing to do with any outside thing; it is an experience of the heart that leads to faith in the grace of Jesus.
Now comes one of the saddest verses in the Bible, but one of the most common beliefs held by modern Christians. “Then they said to Him, ‘What must we do, to be doing the works of God?’ “ (v. 28) What they are saying is ‘what must we do to please God?’ ‘How can we have the seal of God in our lives?’ Jesus’ answer is one of the happiest verses in the Bible, “This is the work of God that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” (v. 29)
I love these verses in John, in fact the sixth chapter of John is a delight and rewards anyone who spends time reading and contemplating the Gospel message found there. Jesus is the bread of life, Jesus is the Seal of God, Jesus is our personal Savior and Jesus cannot be reduced to a jolly Santa Clause giving out financial rewards for following Him. He is instead the Savior of the World.
“All that the Father gives me will come to me, and him who comes to me I will not cast out.” John 6:37 Now this is a verse in which every Christian can hang their hat with assurance. Jesus loves you and He proved it at Calvary. His goal is to see you enter into a relationship with Him and we do that through faith. The result is eternal life.
I know some of you who read this blog struggle with legalism; some of you suffer with illness and others with family and personal problems. Please don’t let discouragement overcome you. You are loved and God longs to abide with you and you to abide with Him. Just keep on trusting and your salvation is assured and a better day is ahead. Remember, you are sealed with the promised Holy Spirit who testifies that Jesus is the Seal of God and everyone who is sealed by believing has the promise of eternal life. Amen, Amen, Amen!
* Many people around the globe are experiencing persecution for their faith in God, and many even unto death. They need our support and continuous prayers. Please take the time to read some of their stories at http://thebeggardanced.com/nine-oclock-club/ there is much more on the internet but you have to search for it