“From now on let no one trouble me, for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus”
From now on let no one trouble me,
Paul gives the Galatians a challenge to look at the price he paid for taking a stand for the cross of Christ, the doctrine of grace. Paul calls for an end to the conflict over law and grace.
for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus
The word “marks” is the Greek word stigma. A stigma was a permanent brand, tattoo, or mark burnt into the skin. Paul carried brands around like a cow or a slave. It was a sign of ownership of a cow or slave. Paul’s stigma was a branding for his service in standing for the grace principle. Paul clearly demonstrated the price he paid for the cross. The Galatians saw that themselves when he was in Galatia.
The idea of “bear” is to undergo experiences that mark one as the slave of some master. That is the burden Paul bore. He bore or endured the burden of the cross.
Christians should carry the indelible mark of belonging to Christ.
People who take a stand for the grace principle of the cross will pay the price. We must count the cost.
“But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24).
“From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness— besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches” (2 Corinthians 11:24-28).
A good measure of our belief system is how much we are willing to pay for it. Do you have the scars to prove it?
We should be careful about assailing the enlistees of the army of Christ. Keep your static to yourself. All annoyances are a distraction from the real reason we are here.
All Christians must carry the blood-stained banner of the cross. They will not be the most popular or pleasing people, but they will be faithful to God. We should view ourselves as soldiers, not floating along on a rosy bed of ease. People should clearly mark us as those who belong to Christ, who bear His indelible mark.
Thanks! I looked up this verse because I wondered what marks Paul was talking about, and you gave me a lot to think on. Praise God!
i was born in june on the 17th, i have not a single scar or mark on my body! But under x ray i have holes on my feet and hands. What is the meaning of these marks?
It means nothing other than you have an anomaly in your body.
Great commentary…easy to understand…thanks!
If one supposes that Paul wrote Galatians prior to Corinthians, say in AD 48, what marks would Paul be referring to? The stoning he received in Acts14:19 during his first missionary journey. That would accord well, using the S. Gal theory. Do you know of other marks he might have received, again, prior to AD48? Thank you for your time.
Clive, did you read the introduction? Note top of page.
Dr. Grant, thank you for your response. Yes, I did read your intro and noted the top of the page previously. (Good scholarly work). However, I am trying to be more specific. Let me try again. I agree with you that Paul paid a price, but most of his career ministry had not occured by AD49, the writing of the letter. To quote Corinthinians is helpful, but the Cor. passage refers to much more of his ministry. Clearly he hadn't been whipped 5 times at the writing of Galatians, nor shipwrecked three times (if at all). The one clear evidence that Paul speaks of in the Cor. passage is the stoning, which I believe refers to Acts 14:19 and as this is prior to writing Galatians "MIGHT" be "PART" of what he is referring to in Gal 6:17. I cannot justify quoting 2 Cor. to listeners as most of this is after his writing of Galatians. Your comment, "Paul’s stigma was a branding for his service in standing for the grace principle" is well written. But still I and fellow students are going to ask, "but what is the specificity Paul refering to? Is it just the stoning of Acts 14:19, or can you give evidence of other physical impairment that would also "add" to his Gal. 6:17 comment? Referring to the 2 Cor. passage would be stricken in any cross-prosecution, unless one quotes the passage citing only the "stoning" episode. If you could tighten up the specificity issue, that would be helpful. Now, if I miss the point totally about your argument, forgive me. But that said, I will still reassert the question of specificity. If we contend it is his "service for standing for grace" how exactly does that bring about stigma? Thank you for your time and allowing me to ask.
Clive, a couple points. I don't think it is possible to identify with specificity what Paul exactly meant in this passage. It is dangerous to go beyond the extant statements of this verse. The reference to Second Corinthians is an example, not an absolute reference. Also, there is a debate between the northern Galatian and southern Galatian theory as to when Paul wrote Galatians. There is a big time difference on this issue. That is why I wanted you to read the Introduction.
Dear Dr. Grant, again thank you for your reply. I too agree that it is NOT possible to identify with specificity what Paul exactly meant in this passage. Further, I agree it is dangerous to go beyond the extant statements of this verse. I think that the reference to Second Corinthians should be listed as an example, for your commentary, currently stated, could be read to mean an absolute reference. I have enjoyed the dialog with you. Its been helpful. And finally, your principle leaves me in some tension, although not conflict. You state well that "Paul's stigma was a branding", but I'm not so confident I could announce the timeless eternal truth (a principle) that all Christians should carry this mark… based on this Scripture alone. I think overall that Scripture does contend for us sharing in the anointed's death (especially as seen in Colossians; and that we should stand for the faith. Making it a principle just seems a stretch. I'm wrestling myself with what principle could be derived from this single verse. To me its more a call for "how should we live in light of Paul's example" as opposed to the more black and white "all christians should…" Or, I might offer, "Christians, what indelible mark do you have for belonging to Christ?"… Very willing to be challenged on this!!
Clive, you must remember that this site is primarily a devotional. References do not pretend to document exact parallelism with precise theological/exegetical issues. The primary purposes are to encourage and exhort. However, the general principle is to "bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus Christ" whatever they may be–mental, physical or any other kind of suffering for His sake. The site is based on careful exegesis (I have had 8 years of Greek and 3 of Hebrew) and what is more important–decades of using careful exegesis over decades of time.
Again thank you for your time. I think we can agree on the general principle and the tone as you state it. My purpose for the inquiry was to seek clarification on the specificity of the stigma. You've shed light on that, thank you.
At Dr Grant And Mr Clive, I Think The Mark Paul Was Talking About Was His Encounter When He Is Going To Damascus
Dave, I am in India right now and cannot respond until I get back.
Howdy! Tonight I was really being challenged spiritually and I read this verse and something about it hit me very hard and convicted me but I didn’t know what. I simply googled the verse and your site popped up! I learned a lot in the commentary as well as the comments between Dr. Grant and Mr. Clive. Thank you very much!
Dave, I just noticed that I did not respond to you when I got back from India. If you are referring to the time Paul went to Damascus in pursuit of persecution of Christians, this would not be a proper text because he went there as a non-Christian.
Clive, I have rethought your comments and clearly you have a point so I have moved the Corinthian passage to the application section.
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading all the comments and would love to know how might I become as knowledgeable in the scripture?
God gave me this scripture when I first gave my life to him almost five years ago i didn’t know anything about scripture in the bible but he took me to this can i have more info on this scripture
Who bares more of the marks of Christ, Men or women? I’m having a debate on this topic in Church. Please help
Kweku, the Bible says nothing about men and women on this issue.
Muy buen debate
Great discussion on a great topic in times in which we live today thanks.