Tidings for Tuesday

From henceforth let no man trouble me, for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus. Galatians 6:17

Look at your hands. If you look closely enough, you can probably see the marks of some accident or of some mistreatment that you received. A tiny scar or a large ugly mark tell the story of some ordeal through which you passed. It is a mark of that long-ago happening. What did Paul mean by his reference in our text today of the marks of the Lord Jesus? I am pretty sure he was referring to the scars from all of the whippings, the savage attacks, and the battering of the elements during his missionary journeys and his imprisonments. We have no idea how badly he was disfigured and maimed by all of the abuse that he took. Note carefully that he is not complaining, he is simply pointing out that there were few Christians who had endured as much as he did, for the sake of his Lord.

This reference makes us feel rather small, doesn’t it? What marks do we bear as a result of our testimony for the Lord Jesus? What suffering has been our lot because we are Christians? How much blood have we shed in His cause?

Yes, it is true that we live in different times, and in a different environment. We live in a land of safety and comfort, we drive to meetings (and everywhere else for that matter) in comfortable vehicles, we can’t remember the last meal that we missed, or the last time we were threatened or even subjected to verbal abuse.

So Paul can say, ‘Show a little respect here, folks, I have been up and down the road, and I have the scars to prove it’. But I think Paul wants us to think of someone other than himself, though. There are dear saints in our own day who have gone through some fires and trials, and we should give them the respect they deserve for what they have passed through.

Let us thank the Lord today for those who, while we have been spared troubles and suffering, have bravely and faithfully ‘sailed through bloody seas’. -Jim MacIntosh

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