Finally, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers. Amen (Galatians 6:17-18).
Have you ever thought about the number of scars Paul must have had?
He’d been beaten and stoned and shipwrecked and lashed.
Those things leave marks–inside and out.
Paul claims those marks as badges of honor.
Not to get all Greeky on you, but that word “marks” was the same word used for the brand that would be put on slaves to identify them as their owner’s property.
Paul is basically saying, “You see this scar? This burn? This dent? They tell you that I belong to Jesus. So back off, Boyo.”
Or, you know, something like that.
I know Paul was not reputed to be all that impressive in person, but I gotta tell you, right here he sounds like a leather-clad, Harley-riding biker.
Beloved, my body doesn’t bear the marks that Paul’s did. I haven’t been called to that level of sacrifice.
But my spirit bears his mark, his brand, his seal.
I’m guessing yours does, too.
You are his Beloved.
You are his, Beloved.