Paul said, “I bear on my body the marks of Jesus” (Gal 6:17). The word here rendered “marks” (stygma, in Greek) means the brands which are burnt upon the body. Slaves were sometimes branded by their masters to prevent their escape. Devotees to an idol god sometimes had impressed on themselves the name or image of the divinity they adored. Paul had the name of the Redeemer impressed on his body! See the “stigma” or brands he had received in his body, the stripes and sufferings which he endured in the service of the Redeemer (see 2 Cor 11:23-27).
Some had in their body the marks of circumcision, the evidence that they were disciples of the law of Moses. Perhaps others, the marks of an idol to which they were devoted. An old soldier shows his scars with pride as a proof of his loyalty to his country … the loss of a leg, an arm, an eye.
What marks of suffering can we present that we are His, able to say when we face death and eternity, “We bear with us the evidence that we belong to the Son of God?”
Thoughts from Albert Barnes, 1825.
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