From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.Galatians 6:17
In the concluding parts of his “Gloves off” letter to the Galatian Church, Apostle Paul gave this parting salvo. In his epistle to the Galatians, he had been trying to warn them of pretentious people who were claiming that circumcision was a necessity for Salvation. In making sure that those he was writing to would have no reason to doubt his affiliation with Christ or his office of an Apostle, he speaks of the “marks of the Lord Jesus”.
The Greek word “Stigma” which was translated to “marks” tells us a lot about what Paul meant, and the verse shows us his disposition to these marks. In Greek usage, Stigma stands for marks pricked into or branded upon a slave or soldier. Paul referred to the scars he had gotten from his persecution for the sake of the Gospel, as his “stigma”.
In our modern-day and time, and most parts of the world, no one will persecute a believer by taking a whip to them, or by subjecting them to cruel beatings. The persecutions we face these days come in the form of mental or social (for lack of better words) persecution, such that people are reluctant to walk in what they believe or speak about their beliefs for fear of mild to moderate ostracisation.
All I’m trying to say here is that, like Paul who never hid his affiliation to Jesus or shied away from the stigma of being called a “Jesus Freak” (or whatever they called them those days), we should regard our affiliation with Jesus as something to be proud about, something to shout about.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek”.Romans 1:16
The gospel the believer preaches and the life of Christ that the believer lives is a light that is painfully uncomfortable to those who have unrepentantly chosen to dwell in darkness. So darkness will do all it can to dim that light (but of course will never succeed, John 1:5).
Do you have scars, or a “stigma” because you’re associated with Christ? Be proud of them. Flaunt them, even.