“From now on, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus” – Gal 6:17 (NIV).
After his resurrection when Jesus appeared to the disciples and the Apostle Thomas happened not to be around, upon learning he protested. “So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe” (John 20:25).
A week after the Lord appeared, “Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” (vv 27-28).
This event totally shook Thomas. He travelled to India where he shared the Gospel and the present church in India is attributed to him. It is said he was attacked and killed at Mount Chennai in AD 72 where his body is interred. Though initially skeptical, his body ended up with wounds of Christ!
Many followers of Christ have since his crucifixion bore wounds which can disprove doubters. The Apostle Paul once shared, “Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea..” (2 Cor 11:25). He carried a lot of wounds for his service to the Gospel. Legend has it that almost every Apostle other John suffered an ignominious death.
For followers of Christ bearing his wounds from those that refuse the grace of the Gospel, is often inescapable. Christians are habitual target of attacks not just for sharing the Gospel but standing up for truth and righteousness. May the Almighty God grant us grace to carry those wounds with joy and pride, for they bear the very marks of our faith in Jesus!
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I thank you for the wounds of Christ I bear on my body because of service to you, and for all the attacks may I know these are badges of honor, this I pray in Jesus’s name.