A few weeks ago I stood on a rake and the handle on that rake smashed into my forehead and the result was I had to be taken into hospital. It now looks as if a scar will be left from that incident.
This scar, of course, will now be a distinguishing mark and every time I look in the mirror (at my age that is not often!) I will be constantly reminded of that incident.
Quite frankly, I don’t want to be bothered anymore by these disputes. I have far more important things to do the serious living of this faith. I bear in my body scars from my service to Jesus.Galatians 6:17 The Message
Sources outside the Bible inform us when Paul wrote these words not only was the branding iron inflicted on animals but also on humans leaving marks on the flesh which could never be erased or removed.
At least three classes of individuals wore scars of this kind.
- Slaves who were owned by their masters. They bore the mark of ownership of the Master to whom they belonged. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, Romans 1:1.
- Soldiers who sometimes branded themselves with the name of the general under whom they served as a token of their wholehearted devotion to the commander whom they served. 2 Timothy 2:3, 2 Corinthians 5:15.
- Devotees who were attached for life to a temple and to the deity who was worshipped there.
You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honour God with your body. Your body is a temple of the Holy Ghost.1 Corinthians 6:20
For followers of Jesus they know we received salvation through the price Jesus paid. This has a very unique and special significance for followers of Jesus. Paul concludes with the important words of glorifying God in your body. In other words, use your bodies in order that other men may see that you belong to God.
Listen to what Paul says “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle”. Paul calls himself a servant (Gr doulos, bond slave) of Jesus Christ. In his mind, since a Roman slave was answerable only to his master, Paul was not just a slave to the Lord but a servant as well as a son very importantly and answerable only to Him (1 Corinthians 4:1-4)
So what about you and me?
- Do we identify with any of the three brandings mentioned earlier?
- Are we faithful to the one to who we now belong?
- Do we serve Him?
- Are we devoted to Him?
- What scars do you carry?
I leave you with something very important. Listen as Pauls say this. Well, it matters very little what you or anyone else thinks. I don’t even trust my own judgment on this point. My conscience is clear, but that isn’t what matters. It is the Lord himself who will examine me and decide. Yes, the one who Paul was branded and scared for was the only one who mattered and it the same for you and me.
Stay safe and Blessed