Re:Verse passage – Galatians 6:11-18 (day two)
From now on let no one cause trouble for me, for I bear on my body the brand-marks of Jesus. vs. 17
Paul’s body literally told a story. Paul’s last defense of his book-long argument is his own willingness to endure the persecution, suffering, and pain associated with an uncompromising commitment to follow Jesus. Brand-marks is a term that is exactly what you think it is. As we mark livestock, it was common to ‘mark’ those in slavery with an identifiable brand on their flesh. Paul reminds the Galatians, and us there is often a physical cost to obedience.
And yet, he is willing to bear it. That testimony is astounding in itself. If Paul is willing to endure, and point to those lasting scars as a testimony to God’s greater truth, there must be something to it. Think back one chapter and frame it this way. Paul’s spirit also bears the brand-marks of Jesus. He has been set free to love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The physical marks cannot, themselves, produce that good. It must be Jesus.
What brand-marks have you endured? What have they produced in your spirit?