Galatians 6:17
From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.
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(17) The Apostle has done. He will not dally with these vexatious attacks upon himself and his authority any more. He dismisses them with an appeal which ought to be final. He points to the scars of wounds which he had received in his Master’s service. The branding-irons of Christ, he says, have imprinted these upon me. They show that I, like the slaves of a heathen temple, am devoted and consecrated to His service. They are my credentials, and I shall produce no others. My assailants must leave me in peace.

The marks.—The stigmata, or marks inflicted with branding-irons, such as those which show that a slave is attached to a particular temple or to the service of some particular deity. Branding was applied in some other cases, but especially to temple slaves. Those with which the Galatians were most familiar would be engaged in the worship of Cybele.

There does not seem to be evidence to connect this passage directly with the incident of the “stigmata” in the life of St. Francis of Assisi, but it would seem very probable that the use of the word, which was left untranslated in the Latin versions, suggested, whether by a more or by a less distant association, the idea which took so strong a hold upon his mind that in a moment of extreme spiritual tension the actual marks of the Passion seemed to imprint themselves upon his body.

Of the Lord Jesus.—The true text is simply, “of Jesus.”



Galatians 6:17.

The reference in these words is probably to the cruel custom of branding slaves as we do cattle, with initials or signs, to show their ownership. It is true that in old times criminals, and certain classes of Temple servants, and sometimes soldiers, were also so marked, but it is most in accordance with the Apostle’s way of thinking that he here has reference to the first class, and would represent himself as the _slave_ of Jesus Christ, designated as His by the scars and weaknesses which were the consequences of his apostolic zeal. Imprisonment, beating by the Jewish rod, shipwrecks, fastings, weariness, perils, persecutions, all these he sums up in another place as being the tokens by which he was approved as an apostle of Jesus Christ. And here he, no doubt, has the same thought in his mind, that his bodily weakness, which was the direct issue of his apostolic work, showed that he was Christ’s. The painful infirmity under which, as we learn, he was more especially suffering, about the time of writing this letter, may also have been in his mind.

All through this Epistle he has been thundering and lightning against the disputers of this apostolic authority. And now at last he softens, and as it were, bares his thin arm, his scarred bosom, and bids these contumacious Galatians look upon them, and learn that he has a right to speak as the representative and messenger of the Lord Jesus.

So we have here two or three points, I think, worth considering. First, think for a moment of the slave of Christ; then of the brands which mark the ownership; then of the glory in the servitude and the sign; and then of the immunity from human disturbances which that service gives. ‘From henceforth let no man trouble me. I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.’

I. First, then, a word or two about that conception of the slave of Christ.

It is a pity that our Bible has not rendered the title which Paul ever gives himself at the beginning of his letters, by that simple word ‘slave,’ instead of the feebler one, ‘servant.’ For what he means when he calls himself the ‘servant of Jesus Christ’ is not that he bore to Christ the kind of relation which servants among us bear to those who have hired and paid them, and to whom they have come under obligations of their own will which they can terminate at any moment by their own caprice; but that he was in the roughest and simplest sense of the word, Christ’s slave.

What lies in that metaphor? Well, it is the most uncompromising assertion of the most absolute authority on the one hand, and claim of unconditional submission and subjection on the other.

The slave belonged to his master; the master could do exactly as he liked with him. If he killed him nobody had anything to say. He could set him to any task; he could do what he liked with any little possession or property that the slave seemed to have. He could break all his relationships, and separate him from wife and kindred.

All that is atrocious and blasphemous when it is applied to the relations between man and man, but it is a blessed and magnificent truth when it is applied to the relations between a man and Christ. For this Lord has absolute authority over us, and He can do what He likes with everything that belongs to us; and we, and our duties, and our circumstances, and our relationships, are all in His hands, and the one thing that we have to render to Him is utter, absolute, unquestioning, unhesitating, unintermittent and unreserved obedience and submission. That which is abject degradation when it is rendered to a man, that which is blasphemous presumption when it is required by a man, that which is impossible, in its deepest reality, as between man and man, is possible, is blessed, is joyful and strong when it is required by, and rendered to, Jesus Christ. We are His slaves if we have any living relationship to Him at all. Where, then, in the Christian life, is there a place for self-will; where a place for self-indulgence; where for murmuring or reluctance; where for the assertion of any rights of my own as against that Master? We owe absolute obedience and submission to Jesus Christ.

And what does the metaphor carry as to the basis on which this authority rests? How did men acquire slaves? Chiefly by purchase. The abominations of the slave market are a blessed metaphor for the deep realities of the Christian life. Christ has bought you for His own. The only thing that gives a human soul the right to have any true authority over another human soul is that it shall have yielded itself to the soul whom it would control. We must first of all give ourselves away before we have the right to possess, and the measure in which we give ourselves to another is the measure in which we possess another. And so Christ our Lord, according to the deep words of one of Paul’s letters, ‘gives Himself for us, that He might purchase unto Himself a people for His possession.’ ‘Ye are not your own; ye are bought with a price.’

Therefore the absolute authority, and unconditional surrender and submission which are the very essence of the Christian life, at bottom are but the corresponding and twofold effects of one thing, and that is love. For there is no possession of man by man except that which is based on love. And there is no submission of man to man worth calling so except that which is also based therein.

‘Thou hearts alone wouldst move; Thou only hearts dost love.’

The relation in both its parts, on the side of the Master and on the side of the captive bondsman, is the direct result and manifestation of that love which knits them together.

Therefore the Christian slavery, with its abject submission, with its utter surrender and suppression of mine own will, with its complete yielding up of self to the control of Jesus, who died for me; because it is based upon His surrender of Himself to me, and in its inmost essence it is the operation of love, is therefore co-existent with the noblest freedom.

This great Epistle to the Galatians is the trumpet call and clarion proclamation of Christian liberty. The breath of freedom blows inspiringly through it all. The very spirit of the letter is gathered up in one of its verses, ‘I have been called unto liberty,’ and in its great exhortation, ‘Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made you free.’ It is then sufficiently remarkable and profoundly significant that in this very letter, which thus is the protest of the free Christian consciousness against all limitations and outward restrictions, there should be this most emphatic declaration that the liberty of the Christian is slavery and the slavery of the Christian is freedom. He is free whose will coincides with his outward law. He is free who delights to do what he must do. He is free whose rule is love, and whose Master is Incarnate Love. ‘If the Son make you free, ye shall be free indeed.’ ‘O Lord, truly I am Thy servant, Thou hast loosed my bands.’ ‘I bear in my body’ the charter of my liberty, for I bear in my body the ‘brand of the Lord Jesus.’

II. And so now a word in the next place about these marks of ownership.

As I have said, the Apostle evidently means thereby distinctly the bodily weaknesses, and possibly diseases, which were the direct consequences of his own apostolic faithfulness and zeal. He considered that he proved himself to be a minister of God by his stripes, imprisonments, fastings, by all the pains and sufferings and their permanent consequences in an enfeebled constitution, which he bore because he had preached the Cross of Christ. He knew that these things were the result of his faithful ministry. He believed that they had been sent by no blundering, blind fate; by no mere secondary causes; but by his Master Himself, whose hand had held the iron that branded into the hissing flesh the marks of His ownership. He felt that by means of these he had been drawn nearer to his Master, and the ownership had been made more perfect. And so in a rapture of contempt of pain, this heroic soul looks upon even bodily weakness and suffering as being the signs that he belonged to Christ, and the means of that possession being made more perfect.

Now, what is all that to us Christian people who have no persecutions to endure, and none of whom I am afraid have ever worked hard enough for Christ to have damaged our health by it? Is there anything in this text that may be of general application to us all? Yes! I think so. Every Christian man or woman ought to bear, in his or her body, in a plain, literal sense, the tokens that he or she belongs to Jesus Christ. You ask me how? ‘If thy foot or thine hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee.’

There are things in your physical nature that you have to suppress; that you have always to regulate and coerce; that you have sometimes entirely to cast away and to do without, if you mean to be Jesus Christ’s at all. The old law of self-denial, of subduing the animal nature, its passions, appetites, desires, is as true and as needful to-day as it ever was; and for us all it is essential to the loftiness and purity of our Christian life that our animal nature and our fleshly constitution should be well kept down under heel and subdued. As Paul himself said in another place, ‘I bring under my body, and I keep it in subjection, lest by any means I should myself, having proclaimed to others the laws of the contest, be rejected from the prize.’ Oh, you Christian men and women! if you are not living a life of self-denial, if you are not crucifying the flesh, with its affections and lusts, if you are not bearing ‘about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Christ may be manifested in your mortal body,’ what tokens are there that you are Christ’s slaves at all?

Then, besides this, we may expand the thought even further, and say that, in a very real sense, all the pains and sorrows and disappointments and afflictions that mainly touch our mortal part should be taken by us as, and made by us to be, the tokens that we belong to the Master.

But it is not only in limitations and restrictions and self-denials and pains that Christ’s ownership of us ought to be manifested in our daily lives, and so by means of our mortal bodies, but if there be in our hearts a deep indwelling possession of the grace and sweetness of Christ, it will make itself visible, ay! even in our faces, and ‘beauty born of’ our communion with Him ‘shall pass into’ and glorify even rugged and care-lined countenances. There may be, and there ought to be, in all Christian people, manifestly visible the tokens of the indwelling serenity of the indwelling Christ. And it should not be left to some moment of rapture at the end of life, for men to look upon us, to behold our faces, ‘as it had been the face of an angel,’ but by our daily walk, by our countenances full of a removed tranquillity, and a joy that rises from within, men ought to take knowledge of us that we have been with Jesus, and it should be the truth--I bear in my body the tokens of His possession.

III. Now, once more notice the glorying in the slavery and its signs.

‘I bear,’ says Paul; and he uses, as many of you may know, a somewhat remarkable word, which does not express mere bearing in the sense of toleration and patient endurance, although that is much; nor mere bearing in the sense of carrying, but implies bearing with a certain triumph as men would do who, coming back victorious from conflict, and being received into the city, were proud to show their scars, the honourable signs of their courage and constancy. So, with a triumph that is legitimate, the Apostle solemnly and proudly bears before men the marks of the Lord Jesus. Just as he says in another place:--’Thanks be unto God, which always leadeth us about in triumph in Jesus Christ,’ He was proud of being dragged at the conqueror’s chariot wheels, chained to them by the cords of love; and so he was proud of being the slave of Christ.

It is a degradation to a man to yield abject submission, unconditional service to another man. It is the highest honour of our natures so to bow before that dear Lord. To prostrate ourselves to Him is to lift ourselves high in the scale of being. The King’s servant is every other person’s master. And he that feels that he is Christ’s, may well be, not proud but conscious, of the dignity of belonging to such a Lord. The monarch’s livery is a sign of honour. In our old Saxon kingdom the king’s menials were the first nobles. So it is with us. The aristocracy of humanity are the slaves of Jesus Christ.

And let us be proud of the marks of the branding iron, whether they come in the shape of sorrows and pains, or otherwise. It is well that we should have to carry these. It is blessed, and a special mark of the Master’s favour that He should think it worth His while to mark us as His own, by any sorrow or by any pain. Howsoever hot may be the iron, and howsoever deeply it may be pressed by His firm, steady, gentle hand upon the quivering flesh and the shrinking heart, let us be thankful if He, even by it, impresses on us the manifest tokens of ownership. Oh, brethren! if we could come to look upon sorrows and losses with this clear recognition of their source, meaning and purpose, they change their nature, the paradox is fulfilled that we do ‘gather grapes of thorns and figs of thistles.’ ‘I bear in my body,’ with a solemn triumph and patient hope, ‘the marks of the Lord Jesus.’

IV. And now, lastly, the immunity from any disturbance which men can bring, which these marks, and the servitude they express, secure.

‘From henceforth let no man trouble me.’ Paul claims that his apostolic authority, having been established by the fact of his sufferings for Christ, should give him a sacredness in their eyes; that henceforth there should be no rebellion against his teaching and his word. We may expand the thought to apply more to ourselves, and say that, in the measure in which we belong to Christ, and hear the marks of His possession of us, in that measure are we free from the disturbance of earthly influences and of human voices; and from all the other sources of care and trouble, of perturbation and annoyance, which harass and vex other men’s spirits. ‘Ye are bought with a price,’ says Paul elsewhere. ‘Be not the servants of men.’ Christ is your Master; do not let men trouble you. Take your orders from Him; let men rave as they like. Be content to be approved by Him; let men think of you as they please. The Master’s smile is life, the Master’s frown is death to the slave; what matters it what other people may say? ‘He that judgeth me is the Lord.’ So keep yourselves above the cackle of ‘public opinion’; do not let your creed be crammed down your throats even by a consensus of however venerable and grave human teachers. Take your directions from your Master, and pay no heed to other voices if they would command. Live to please Him, and do not care what other people think. You are Christ’s servant; ‘let no man trouble’ you.

And so it should be about all the distractions and petty annoyances that disturb human life and harass our hearts. A very little breath of wind will ruffle all the surface of a shallow pond, though it would sweep across the deep sea and produce no effect. Deepen your natures by close union with Christ, and absolute submission to Him, and there will be a great calm in them, and cares and sorrows, and all the external sources of anxiety, far away, down there beneath your feet, will ‘show scarce so gross as beetles,’ whilst you stand upon the high cliff and look down upon them all. ‘From henceforth no man shall trouble me.’ ‘I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.’

My brother! Whose marks do you bear? There are only two masters. If an eye that could see things as they are, were to go through this congregation, whose initials would it discern in your faces? There are some of us, I have no doubt, who in a very horrid sense bear in our bodies the marks of the idol that we worship. Men who have ruined their health by dissipation and animal sensualism--are there any of them here this morning? Are there none of us whose faces, whose trembling hands, whose diseased frames, are the tokens that they belong to the flesh and the world and the devil? Whose do _you_ bear?

Oh! when one looks at all the faces that pass one upon the street--this all drawn with avarice and earthly-mindedness; that all bloated with self-indulgence and loose living--when one sees the mean faces, the passionate faces, the cruel faces, the vindictive faces, the lustful faces, the worldly faces, one sees how many of us bear in our bodies the marks of _another_ lord. They have no rest day nor night who worship the beast; and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

I pray you, yield yourselves to your true Lord, so on earth you may bear the beginnings of the likeness that stamps you His, and hereafter, as one of His happy slaves, shall do priestly service at His throne and see His face, and His name shall be in your foreheads.

Galatians 6:17-18. Henceforth let no man trouble me — By calling my commission, my doctrine, or my faithfulness in question; or with contentions against my office, quarrels and disputes on account of my renouncing circumcision and the ceremonies of the Mosaic law; for I bear (and affliction ought not to be added to the afflicted!) in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus — That is, of my being his persecuted servant; marks of far more importance, and which I think much more honourable, than circumcision; even the scars which I have received by stripes, blows, bruises, and chains, endured in his service, which ought to endear me to all who have a due regard to him. Because the word στιγματα denotes marks made by burning, some suppose that the apostle had in his eye those servants in the heathen temples on whose foreheads the name of the god to whom they belonged was in that way imprinted, and under the immediate protection of which god such servants were supposed to be. Hence the worshippers of the beast (Revelation 13:16) are represented as having a mark on their right hands, or on their foreheads, whereby they were known to be its worshippers. In like manner the servants of God are said to have his name on their foreheads, Revelation 22:4. In allusion to these customs, it is thought that the apostle calls the scars of the wounds which he received in Christ’s service, the marks of the Lord Jesus. For besides his having been stoned and left for dead in the streets of Lystra, as he was five times scourged by the Jews, and thrice beaten with rods by the Romans, (2 Corinthians 11:24-25,) it is probable he had suffered some of these punishments before this epistle was written, and that they had left scars in his body, by which he was distinguished as the servant of the Lord Jesus. Brethren, the grace — The unmerited favour, and the enlightening, quickening, sanctifying, and comforting influences of his Spirit; be with your spirit — To guide, animate, renew, purify, and comfort you in the ways of truth and peace, of wisdom, piety, and virtue. Thus, although the apostle’s rebukes in the former part of this epistle were sharp and cutting, and although he seems to have treated the Galatians with some severity; yet having expressed his persuasion, that after reading what he had written they would not think differently from him in the principal articles of the Christian doctrine, (chap. Galatians 5:10,) he here shows his love

6:16-18 A new creation to the image of Christ, as showing faith in him, is the greatest distinction between one man and another, and a blessing is declared on all who walk according to this rule. The blessings are, peace and mercy. Peace with God and our conscience, and all the comforts of this life, as far as they are needful. And mercy, an interest in the free love and favour of God in Christ, the spring and fountain of all other blessings. The written word of God is the rule we are to go by, both in its doctrines and precepts. May his grace ever be with our spirit, to sanctify, quicken, and cheer us, and may we always be ready to maintain the honour of that which is indeed our life. The apostle had in his body the marks of the Lord Jesus, the scars of wounds from persecuting enemies, for his cleaving to Christ, and the doctrine of the gospel. The apostle calls the Galatians his brethren, therein he shows his humility and his tender affection for them; and he takes his leave with a very serious prayer, that they might enjoy the favour of Christ Jesus, both in its effects and in its evidences. We need desire no more to make us happy than the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. The apostle does not pray that the law of Moses, or the righteousness of works, but that the grace of Christ, might be with them; that it might be in their hearts and with their spirits, quickening, comforting, and strengthening them: to all which he sets his Amen; signifying his desire that so it might be, and his faith that so it would be.From henceforth - For the remaining time; that is, during the remainder of my life.

Let no man trouble me - This implies that he had had trouble of some kind, and he earnestly desires that he may have no more. What particular trouble he here refers to, is not certainly known, and commentators have not been agreed. It seems to me that the connection requires us to understand it of the molestation which he had in regard to his call to the apostolic office, and his authority to explain and defend the religion of the Redeemer. This had been one principal subject of this Epistle. His authority had been called in question. He had felt it necessary to go into a vindication of it. His instructions had been departed from on the ground that he was not one of the original apostles, and that he differed from others; see Galatians 1:11. Hence, all the anxiety and trouble which he had had in regard to their departure from the doctrines which he had taught them. He closes the whole subject of the Epistle by this tender and affecting language, the sense of which has been well expressed by Crellius: "I have shown my apostolic authority, and proved that I am commisioned by the Lord Jesus. I have stated and vindicated the great doctrine of justification by faith, and shown that the Mosaic law is not necessarily binding. On these points may I have no more trouble. I have enough for my nature to bear of other kinds. I bear in my body the impressive proofs that I am an apostle, and the sufferings that require all my fortitude to sustain them." These marks, received in the service of the Lord Jesus, and so strongly resembling those which he himself received, prove that I am truly engaged in his cause, and am commissioned by him. These wounds and sorrows are so many, that I have need of the kindness and prayers of Christians rather than to be compelled to vindicate myself, and to rebuke them for their own wanderings."

For I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus - The word here rendered "marks" (στίγματα stigmata), means properly the marks or brands which are pricked or burnt in upon the body. So slaves were sometimes branded by their masters to prevent their escape; and so devotees to an idol god sometimes caused to be impressed on themselves the name or image of the divinity which they adored. Herodotus (ii. 113) mentions a temple of Hercules in Egypt, in which if any slave took refuge, and had the sacred brands or marks impressed on him (στίγματα stigmata), he thereby devoted himself to the god, and it was not lawful for anyone to injure him. Many have supposed that Paul here says, in allusion to such a custom, that he had the name of the Redeemer impressed on his body, and that he regarded himself as devoted to him and his cause. It seems to me that by these marks or brands he refers to the weals which he had received in his body; the marks of stripes and sufferings which he endured in the service of the Redeemer. Compare 2 Corinthians 11:24-25.

He had repeatedly been scourged. He bore the marks of that on his person now. They were the evidences that he was devoted to the Saviour. He had received them in his cause; and they were the proofs that he belonged to the Lord Jesus. He had suffered for him, and had suffered much. Having thus suffered, and having thus the evidence that he belonged to the Saviour, and having by his sufferings given ample proof of that to others, he asks to be freed from further molestation. Some had in their body the marks of circumcision, the evidence that they were disciples of the Law of Moses; others had perhaps in their persons the image and name of an idol to which they were devoted; but the marks which he bore were the weals which he had received by being again and again whipped publicly in the cause of the Redeemer. To that Redeemer, therefore, he felt himself united, and from that attachment he would not allow himself to be diverted.

How often has an old soldier shown his scars with pride and exultation as a proof of his attachment to his country! Numerous scars; the loss of an arm, an eye, or a leg, are thus the much valued and vaunted pledges of attachment to liberty, and a passport to the confidence of every man who loves his country. "I prize this wound," said Lafayette, when struck in the foot by a musket ball at Germantown, "as among the most valued of my honors." So Paul felt in regard to the scourges which he had received in the cause of the Lord Jesus. They were his boast and his glory; the pledge that he had been engaged in the cause of the Saviour, and a passport to all who loved the Son of God. Christians now are not subjected to such stripes and scourings. But let us have some marks of our attachment to the Lord Jesus. By a holy life; by self-denial; by subdued animal affections; by zeal in the cause of truth; by an imitation of the Lord Jesus; and by the marks of suffering in our body, if we should be called to it, let us have some evidence that we are his, and be able to say, when we look on death and eternity, "we bear with us the evidence that we belong to the Son of God." To us that will be of more value than any ribbon or star indicating elevated rank; more valuable than a ducal coronet; more valuable than the brightest jewel that ever sparkled on the brow of royalty.

17. let no man trouble me—by opposing my apostolic authority, seeing that it is stamped by a sure seal, namely, "I (in contrast to the Judaizing teachers who gloried in the flesh) bear (as a high mark of honor from the King of kings)."

the marks—properly, marks branded on slaves to indicate their owners. So Paul's scars of wounds received for Christ's sake, indicate to whom he belongs, and in whose free and glorious service he is (2Co 11:23-25). The Judaizing teachers gloried in the circumcision mark in the flesh of their followers: Paul glories in the marks of suffering for Christ on his own body (compare Ga 6:14; Php 3:10; Col 1:24).

the Lord—omitted in the oldest manuscripts.

Let no man trouble me, either with questions about circumcision, or with imputations as if I were a friend to their opinion, of the necessity of adding to the doctrine of faith, circumcision and other observances of the law.

For I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus; I sufficiently declare my judgment to the world, suffering for my profession, and preaching the gospel. These sufferings he calls

the marks of the Lord Jesus, because he endured them in testimony to the gospel, as well against the Jews its against the Gentiles.

From henceforth let no man trouble me,.... Having so clearly stated and explained the doctrine of justification, and so largely proved that it is not by works, but by faith, and that circumcision and other rituals of the ceremonial law were not necessary to it, he desires, nay, in an authoritative way he requires, that they give him no further trouble on that head; signifying, that he expected they would be satisfied with what he had wrote, and abide by the truth and obey it, as they had formerly done; that he should hear no more objections from them, or complaints of them: nor need they further inquire his sense of these things; by this they would fully know his faith and practice; as indeed they might also by his suffering persecutions on the account of his faith, and his preaching the Gospel of Christ, and particularly this part of it:

for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus; by which he means, not the marks in Christ's hands, feet, and side; but the reproachful characters the apostle was stigmatized with; or the real scars in his body, made by beating, scourging, and stoning of him; or his sufferings and persecutions in general, which he endured for the sake of Christ and his Gospel; see 2 Corinthians 11:23. The allusion is either to servants and soldiers, who, when taken into service, used to have some particular mark put upon them, that they might be known to be such an one's servant, or soldier (c); as the Hebrew servant, who was willing to serve his master, had his ear bored through with an awl, Exodus 21:6 so the apostle was known to be a firm and faithful servant, and a good soldier of Christ, by the reproaches and afflictions which he underwent for his sake; or else to those marks which, by way of reproach and punishment, were made upon fugitive servants, or soldiers, that deserted; as the sufferings of the apostle were designed as reproaches to him, and punishments of him, for preaching the Gospel of Christ; but these he gloried in, and bore and carried as trophies and marks of honour. Just as veteran soldiers show the scars and wounds they have received in battle, as tokens of their valour and courage, in facing and fighting the enemy in greatest danger: these he is said to bear "in his body"; not in the bodies of others, he gloried not in their flesh, as the false apostles did; nor in the circumcision of his own flesh, the scar that left there the mark of Moses and of a Jew; but in those things which were marks of his being a disciple of Christ, and not of Moses, and which he bore for his sake; and since therefore it was so easy to discern on which side of the question he was, from his suffering persecution for the cross of Christ; and since he had so many and such great trials and exercises, he, with apostolical gravity and authority, commands them to give him no more trouble, from the time of their reception of the epistle, henceforward.

(c) Vid. Lydium de re militare, l. 1. c. 6.

{11} From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the {o} marks of the {p} Lord Jesus.

(11) Continuing still in the same metaphor, he opposes his miseries and the marks of those stripes which he bore for Christ's sake, against the scar of the outward circumcision, as a true mark of his apostleship.

(o) Marks which are burnt into a man's flesh, as they used to do in ancient times, to mark their servants that had run away from them.

(p) For it very important whose marks we bear: for the cause makes the martyr, and not the punishment.

Galatians 6:17. Τοῦ λοιποῦ] occurring only here in the N.T., very frequent in other authors; not ceterum, so that it would be a formula abrumpendi (Bengel, Zachariae, and others), equivalent to τὸ λοιπόν (2 Corinthians 13:11; Ephesians 6:10; Php 3:1, et al.), but the genitive of time (Kühner, II. p. 189): posthac, henceforward (Xen. Anab. v. 7. 34, vi. 4. 11; Plat. Legg. vii. p. 816 D, Demos, p. 385 B; Herod. ii. 109; and the passages in Wetstein); and that as denoting “repetitionem ejusdem facti reliquo tempore” (Hermann ad Viger. p. 706). The sense posthac might also have been expressed by the accusative (τὸ λοιπόν, Matthew 26:41; Mark 14:41; 1 Corinthians 7:29; Xen. Anab. ii. 2. 5, iii. 2. 8; Soph. Trach. 907, 917); but in this case a repetitio perpetua would be meant (Hermann, l.c.). Comp. Kühner, ad Xen. Anab, ii. 2. 5. Calvin explains: “as for the rest,” i.e. praeter novam creaturam. Comp. Wieseler: “quod restat.” In this case, either the genitive would stand absolutely: “as concerns what remains” (ὃ δὲ λοιπόν, 1 Corinthians 4:2), see Heind. ad Charm. p. 89; Matthiae, p. 815; or it would be dependent on κόπους. But, looking at the frequent use of τοῦ λοιποῦ as a particle of time, both these explanations would be very unnecessarily far-fetched. This remark also applies to the view of Hofmann, who strangely attaches τοῦ λοιποῦ, notwithstanding the want of an antithetical particle, as genitive of the object to κόπους, and conceives Ἰσραήλ as again supplied: on account of the Israel, which is not the Israel of God. Respecting that Israel, in the apostle’s view, he has not to inquire whether it will be injured through the labour to which he is called. As if any such cold, remorseless renunciation could be justly attributed to the apostle who held his συγγενεῖς κατὰ σάρκα so painfully dear (Romans 9:1 ff; Romans 10:1), and strove in every possible way to gain them (1 Corinthians 9:20). But from the hostile annoyances and vexations, which the reader would readily understand to be referred to in these words, the apostle desires to remain henceforward exempt; and this he demands with apostolic sternness.

ἐγὼ γὰρ κ.τ.λ.] the emphasis is on ἐγώ: it is not the teachers who are hostile to me, these men afraid to suffer (Galatians 6:12), but I who bear, etc. στίγματα (στίγμα is paroxytone; see Lobeck, Paralip. p. 406) signifies marks branded or etched in, which, usually consisting of letters (Leviticus 19:28), were put on the body (especially on the forehead and hands) in the case of slaves, as the device of their masters;[272] of soldiers, as the badge of their general; of criminals, as a sign of their offence; and among some oriental nations also, as a token of the divinity which they worshipped (3Ma 2:29; and Grimm in loc). See Wetstein, p. 237 f.; Lipsius, Elect. ii. 15; Deyling, Obss. III. p. 423 ff.; Spencer, Legg. rit. ii. 14. 1; Ewald, in Apocal. p. 151 f. Here Paul has had in view the marks borne by slaves:[273] for, according to the immediate context (Galatians 6:14; Galatians 6:18), Christ is present to his mind as the Lord; and also in 2 Corinthians 11:23 he discerns, in the ill treatment which he has suffered, the proof that he is διάκονος Χιρστοῦ. Comp. also Revelation 7:3. The genitive Ἰησοῦ denotes therefore the Ruler, whose servant Paul is indicated to be by his στίγματα; and because in this case the feeling of fellowship with the concrete person of his Master has thoroughly pervaded him, he does not write Χριστοῦ, but Ἰησοῦ (comp. on 2 Corinthians 4:10). Others have explained: “notae corporis tales, quales ipse Christus gestavit” (Morus, comp. Borger); but against this it may be urged that Paul has not made use of a word which of itself conveys a complete idea (such as τὴν νέκρωσιν, 2 Corinthians 4:10), but has used the significant στίγματα, which necessarily prompts the reader to ask to whom the person marked (στιγματίας, also στιγματοφόρος, Polyaen. Strat. i. 24) is described as belonging. Therefore Ἰησοῦ is not (with Gomarus and Rückert) to be considered as genitive auctoris.

But what was it that Paul bore in his body as the στίγματα Ἰησοῦ? The scars and other traces of the wounds and mal-treatment, which he had received on account of his apostolic labours.[274] For in the service of Christ he had been maltreated (2 Corinthians 11:23), and that so that he must have retained scars or similar indications (see 2 Corinthians 11:24-25). Some expositors have, however, believed that Paul adduces these στίγματα by way of contrast to the scar of circumcision (Erasmus in his Annot., Beza, Schoettgen, Grotius; comp. Bengel and Michaelis); but this idea is arbitrarily introduced, and in its paltriness alien to the lofty self-consciousness which these words breathe.

Lastly, as regards the sense in which the reference of γάρ is to be taken, many expositors explain it, with Grotius: “satis aliunde habeo, quod feram.” So, in substance, Vatablus, Bengel (“afflicto non est addenda afflictio”), Morus, Winer. But what a feeble reason to assign would this be, either as fretful or as even bespeaking compassion, and wholly repugnant at all events to the proud feeling of being marked as the δοῦλος of Christ! (comp. 2 Corinthians 11:23 ff.) And the ἘΓΏ, so full of self-consciousness in opposition to the false teachers, is inconsistent with this view. No; Paul means (“veluti trophaea quaedam ostentans,” Erasmus, Paraphr.) to say: for I am one who, by being marked as the servant of Christ, is in possession of a dignity, which may justly exempt him from any repetition of molestations (such as had vexed him on the part of the Galatian churches).


[272] In the East; but among the Romans only in the case of slaves who were suspected or had run away (as a sign of the latter offence, they were by way of punishment branded with Φ or F.U.G.).

[273] Not of soldiers, as Grotius (comp. Calvin), and Potter, Arch. II. p. 7, think; for this must have been suggested by the context. Wetstein understands sacras notas (Herod. ii. 113: στίγματα ἱρά), so that Paul represents Christ “ut Deum, quem τὸν κύριον κατʼ ἐξοχήν vocat.” But these sacrae notae are only found among particular nations, such as the Persians and Assyrians (Plut. Lucull. p. 507 E; Lucian, de Dea Syra, 59; comp. also what is related in Herod. ii. 113 about a temple of Hercules in Egypt, and in the Asiatic Researches, vii. p. 281 f., about the Indians); hence so foreign a custom would not be likely to suggest itself to the apostle, nor could it be understood by his readers without some more special indication.

[274] Not as Luther, 1519 and 1524, following Augustine, thought: the taming of the flesh and the fruits of the Spirit; against which the ἐν τῷ σώματί μου is itself decisive. In the Commentary of 1538, he understands “plagas corpori suo impressas et passiones, deinde ignita tela diaboli, tristitiam et pavores animi,” which thus throws together very different elements outward and inward.

Galatians 6:17. τοῦ λοιποῦ … In deprecating any renewal of the present agitation Paul treats with contempt the prospect of serious danger from it. It had disturbed his peace and the peace of the Church, and must be got rid of, but he describes it as a wearisome annoyance rather than a real peril.—στίγματα. These were indelible marks branded on the flesh. They might be self-inflicted: instances are recorded of soldiers branding themselves with the name of their general in token of their absolute devotion to his cause. But they were as a rule inflicted for a badge of lifelong service; the figure in the text is borrowed from the latter, which were either penal or sacred. The penal were stamped on malefactors, runaway slaves, sometimes on captives; but it is clear from the context that the author has in mind the στίγματα ἱρά mentioned by Herodotus in ii., 113, with which the Galatians also were familiar in Phrygian temples. A class of slaves (ἱερόδουλοι) attached for life to the service of a temple were branded with the name of the deity. Paul likens himself to these in respect of his lifelong dedication to the name of Jesus, and of the marks imprinted on his body, by which he was sealed for a servant of Jesus in perpetuity. These were doubtless the scars left by Jewish scourging, by the stones of Lystra and the Roman rods at Philippi, all tokens of faithful service to his Master in which he gloried.

17. As at the opening, so at the close of the Epistle, St Paul asserts his authority. Then it was as a duly commissioned Apostle, here it is as a tried and tested servant of his Heavenly Master. He has fully discussed the question at issue. He has said his last word upon it. From henceforth he claims exemption from the worry and distraction of controversy. As he said elsewhere, ‘If any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant’ (1 Corinthians 14:38).

for I bear … the Lord Jesus] All commentators agree in regarding this as having reference to St Paul’s suffering for Christ. ‘I, unlike these false teachers, can appeal to the marks of persecution which I have undergone as proofs of the depth of my convictions, the sincerity of my faith’. But the particular expression, ‘the marks of the Lord Jesus’, may either mean the ‘wounds of Christ’ or the marks of ownership branded on the Apostle’s body, which proved him to be the ‘slave of Christ’. Certain marks (stigmata) were affixed by means of a hot iron on two classes of slaves, (1) those who had run away from their masters or had otherwise misconducted themselves, in which case they were a badge of disgrace; and (2) on slaves attached to particular temples, as the property of the deity worshipped there. Of course St Paul cannot allude to the former of these cases. He may speak figuratively of the scars which he bore on his body, from wounds received at Lystra and elsewhere, as the proofs of his devotion to the service of Christ. Bp. Lightfoot adopts this view as most appropriate. “Such a practice at all events cannot have been unknown in a country which was the home of the worship of Cybele. A ‘sacred slave’ is mentioned in a Galatian inscription”. There is however, something to be said for the other explanation which makes the marks of the Lord Jesus to be the wheal of the stripes inflicted on His sacred body—the print of the nails and of the spear. In confirmation of this view passages are adduced in which St Paul speaks of himself as a partaker of the sufferings of Christ, of bearing about in his body the dying of the Lord Jesus, of filling up in his flesh the sufferings of Christ, 2 Corinthians 1:5; 2 Corinthians 4:10; Colossians 1:24; nay more, of being crucified with Christ, Romans 6:6; Galatians 2:20. On the whole, however, the former account of the phrase seems preferable. Most modern expositors notice the alleged ‘stigmata’ of St Francis of Assisi. The connexion is limited to the identity of the term, which has been adopted by Romish hagiologists from the Latin Vulgate. The stigmata of the Saint were not marks of persecution.

Galatians 6:17. Τοῦ λοιποῦ, from henceforth) The mode of breaking off the discourse.—κόπουζ, labours [trouble]) Polemic theology, seriously discussed, is a laborious task to godly men; Galatians 6:11, note; and Galatians 4:20. See the second Antisturmius of L. Osiander, p. 87, 107: κόποι, labour and anxiety of mind, Matthew 26:10 [Why trouble (κόπους παρέχετε) ye the woman?].—μηδεὶς παρεχέτω, let no man cause me) Herein there is Ἀποτομία, severity, by virtue of his authority as an apostle.—ἐγὼ γὰρ, for I) Affliction should not be added to the afflicted.—τὰ στίγματα, the marks) from the lash, Acts 16:23. These marks of stripes rendered Paul infamous in the eyes of the world, but in reality conferred on him great dignity, for by these he was known to be a servant of Christ. Marks in the body are opposed to the mark of circumcision, the body of Paul [himself] to the flesh of others, Galatians 6:13 [the false teachers “glorying in the flesh” of their followers when circumcised].—τοῦ Κυριοῦ, of the Lord) Colossians 1:24, “of the afflictions of Christ.”—βαστάζω, I bear) so that I consider it an honour to me, Galatians 6:14. Therefore they will be disagreeable to me, who please themselves in any other way.[68]

[68] Who seek occasion for glorying in anything but the Cross of Christ.—ED.

Verse 17. - From henceforth (τοῦ λοιποῦ). This genitive form is found, in the New Testament, only here and in Ephesians 6:10, where the Textus Receptus reads τὸ λοιπόν. As being less ambiguous, it is chosen in preference to τὸ λοιπόν, because this latter word is also used in the sense "finally," as in Philippians 3:1; Philippians 4:8, as well as for "henceforth," as in Matthew 26:45; Hebrews 10:13. The meaning of τοῦ λοιποῦ is illustrated by Aristophanes, 'Pax.,' 1050, "You shall never dine henceforth (τοῦ λοιποῦ) any more in the Prytaneum;" and Herod., 3:15. Let no man trouble me (κόπους μοι μηδεὶς παρεχέτω). The phrase, κόπους πραέχειν, "cause trouble, or annoyance," occurs also in Matthew 26:10; Luke 11:7; Luke 18:5. Obviously the apostle refers to such trouble as was now accruing to him from the endeavours of the Judaizing party to pervert his Galatian disciples. On him fell the "anxiety of all the Churches" (2 Corinthians 11:28). In any of his Gentile Churches, the defeat of the work of the gospel by Judaizing perversion was a "worry" which touched him to the very quick. There is nothing to warrant the supposition that he alludes to assaults made in particular upon his apostolical authority, such as he had often occasion to deal with, as, for example, at Corinth. None such have been referred to in this Epistle, though he has found occasion to complain of the alienated affections of his converts. For I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus (ἐγὼ γὰρ τὰ στίγματα τοῦ Ἰησοῦ [Receptus, τοῦ Κυρίου Ἰησου] ἐν τῷ σώματί μου βαστάζω); I am one who bear branded on my body the flesh-marks of Jesus. The ἐγὼ is inserted with emphasis. Being such as he here describes himself, he had a claim upon his brethren to be spared unnecessary annoyance. The Greek word stigma here employed denotes a mark on the flesh, either by puncture, its proper sense, with a hot, sharp instrument, very often with hot needles (see Prudentius's lines quoted by Grotius in his note on the χάραγμα, mark, in Revelation 13:16), or more summarily by simply branding without puncture. It served sometimes as a mark of permanent ownership, as upon horses or cattle (Liddell and Scott, sub verb. στίζω). In respect to slaves, it was not considered humane to brand them, except for punishment, or as security in particular cases against running away. Hence στιγματίας, brandling, designated a scoundrel or a runaway slave; as Aristophanes, 'Lys.,' 331; 'Av.,' 760. Others besides slaves were sometimes branded in ignominious punishment: Aristophanes, 'Ran.,' 1507; Herod., 7:233. Thus we have in Æschines (38, 26), ἐστιγμένος αὐτομόλος, "a branded deserter." Vegetius (quoted by Facciolati, sub verb. stigma), writing three hundred years later, states ('Do Re Milit.,' 1:8; 2:5) that, in the Roman army, raw recruits had to be proved fit for service before they were allowed to have the tattoo put upon them. After due trial, they were "punc-turis in cute punctis milites scripti et matriculis inserti." But this testimony does not establish the fact of such usage prevailing in the Roman army in St. Paul's time; though it is quite supposable that then, as now, soldiers might sometimes tattoo on their arm or hand the name of a favourite general. Instances are cited of consecration to a particular god being signalized by stigma. Herodotus, writing five hundred years before, says of a certain temple of Heracles, on the Egyptian coast, that if a servant, belonging to any man whatever, took sanctuary in it, and put upon himself sacred stigmata, giving himself to the god, no one could touch him (2:113). In 3Macc. 2:29 mention is made of a "mark of Dionysus" ivy leaf being, by means of fire, put upon the body of Jews in Egypt in the time of Ptolemy Philopator; but this would seem to have been intended rather as a barbarous indignity, because especially abhorrent to their religious feelings, than as an actual consecration of them to Dionysus as his "slaves." But that it was in some cases employed to signalize a "sacred slave" is attested by Philo, 'De Mon.,' 2. p. 221, M; and Lucian, 'De Dea Syr.,' § 59, as cited by Bishop Lightfoot, who remarks that "such a practice could not have been unknown in a country which was the home of the worship of Cybele." An example more familiar to the apostle's mind might, perhaps, be cited from Isaiah 44:5 (Septuagint), ἐπιγράψει χειρὶ αὐτοῦ Τοῦ Θεοῦ εὐμί, "shall write upon his hand, I am God's," which rendering Gesenius ('Thes.,' in verb. kathabh) consents to accept. But if this rendering be the right one, it may yet be doubted whether it means writing by puncture; for γράμματα στικτὰ appear in Leviticus 19:28 to be forbidden; unless, indeed, the prohibition be taken to refer to idolatrous tattoos only. But even thus the use of such in idol-worships has a further confirmation. It appears, however, to be a strong objection to our supposing the apostle to be here alluding to either the stigmata of consecration or those of other ownership, that such would infer no more suffering than would attend simple tattooing; whereas it is plain that the apostle alludes to marks which evidenced the undergoing of inflictions of extraordinary severity. The word stigma had passed into Roman usage, being employed both in a literal sense and also in a figurative one of a "stigma," as we also speak, cast upon a person's character as by a poet's lampoon. Thus Martial ('Epigr.,' 12:62) writes, "Frons haec stigmate non meo notanda," "This forehead to be marked with a stigma not of my affixing," where the word frons indicates a close adherence to the original notion of a slave's forehead branded. Suetonius ('Caes.,' 73), "Catullum, a quo sibi versiculis de Mamurra perpetua stigmata imposita non dissimulaverat, satisfacientem eodem die adhibnit coenae." Reviewing the evidence now adduced as to the manner in which the term was used, we observe that the words "brandling" and "branded" (στιγματίας and ἐστιγμένος) were used to describe a person made infamous to open view by brand-marks put upon his person. It was natural that the word stigma would thus acquire the sense of a mark of patent infamy left upon a man's person by some corporal abuse which he had been subjected to, without any other qualifying idea. Now, it appears most probable that it is in this sense that the apostle here uses the word. The term points to those scars, seams, perhaps long-continuing sores, which the long course of ever-recurring hardships and ill usage, through which he had passed, must have left upon him - patent evidence to all who looked upon him of the manner in which his fellow-men regarded and treated him; this only, apart from any qualifying idea, whether of ownership, or of military allegiance, or of religious consecration. It is in this general sense that Chrysostom appears to have read the clause; and this general sense satisfies all the requirements of the context. A strong light is thrown upon this matter by what the apostle, near about this same time, wrote to the Corinthians, in 2 Corinthians 11:22-27. The passage, as indeed does the whole Epistle, with much also of the frmer Epistle addressed to the same Church, betokens a strong feeling at this particular time resting on his mind, of the grievous, countless, hardships which marked his career - a feeling, very supposably, just then freshened by some very painful experiences recently gone through, from the effects of which his bodily form was still suffering. "In stripes above measure,... in deaths oft. Of the Jews, five times received I forty stripes save one; thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day have I been in the deep." Such are some particulars which he specifies; and the enumeration is very suggestive with reference to our present point. Could he have undergone that "stoning" at Lystra, after which he was dragged out of the city as dead to be left to lie without burial, and have carried away no enduring disfigurement? Whether any marks would be likely to remain upon him from the five Jewish whippings, we cannot tell; but we may be assured that the three floggings inflicted with the cruel vitis of the Roman soldiery must have scarred his flesh with seams of permanent disfigurement. Perhaps while he wrote, sores remaining from some one of those eight punishments were making themselves painfully felt. These judicial inflictions, however, severe as some of them may have been, were nevertheless regulated by law and custom. There were m all probability other, much more barbarous and altogether unregulated, violences, which came often upon him from the brutality of mobs, from the assaults of "robbers," from accidents in shipwreck. It could not fail but that his person presented, wherever he went, conspicuously to view, tokens that he was one wont to be both regarded and dealt with as if he were, no doubt deservedly, a wretched outcast; in his own forcible, most deeply pathetic phrase, περικαθάρματα τοῦ κόμου πάντων περίψημα "as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things" (1 Corinthians 4:13). The apostle's enemies taunted him with the contrast which subsisted between the solemnity and power - would-be power they meant - of his letters, and the meanness and feebleness of his personal appearance and his personal address (2 Corinthians 10:1, 10). His personal presence may, originally and by natural make, not have been calculated to bespeak respect. But whatever disadvantages he lay under originally, must, beyond all question, have been vastly aggravated by the bodily hard ships to which he had been subjected. These must have left effects (this, perhaps, being the "stake in the flesh" which be groaned under - "Satan's messenger to buffet him," the fruits, certainly, of Satan's working in the hearts of godless men) which he felt to be not only fraught with personal humiliation in whatever intercourse he held with his fellow-men, but also likely greatly to mar his efficiency in his ministerial work. The only consolation remaining to him was that, in the utter extinction of all self-love, he rejoiced to know that Christ's grace had, in this enhanced feebleness of his instrument, the clearer field wherein to manifest its own Divine potency (2 Corinthians 12:9, 10). "The flesh-marks of Jesus." This may be understood as meaning that they were incurred in Jesus' service. In part it may be so taken; but the relation expressed by this genitive appears to go deeper than that. The apostle means, the marks which disfigured the body of Jesus as now reproduced in his body. The genitive is used in just the same way as it is in the strikingly similar clause in 2 Corinthians 4:10, "always bearing about in the body the dying of Jesus (παντότε τὴν νέκρωσιν τοῦ Ἰησοῦ ἐν σῶ σώματι περιφέροντες), where ' ἡ νεκρωσις τοῦ Ἰησοῦ means apparently "the deadness or corpse-condition of Jesus" (compare the use of the Greek noun in Romans 4:19); the state of Jesus' νενεκρωμένον σῶμα, while yet hanging a corpse on the cross. By s strong hyperbole, prompted by the intense feeling then on his mind of his own bodily sufferings and the almost ever-present imminency of death (comp. vers. 7-12 of the same chapter), the apostle, in those words, refers to "Jesus' corpse-condition" as reproduced in his own bodily condition, adding the expression of his assured conviction that all was to this end - that "the life also of Jesus," that is, the life which Jesus himself lives, should be all the more clearly manifested by what he was working in the world, in and through a body apparently so death-bound as the apostle's was. The use of the phrase, thus interpreted, coheres well with the feeling which, in the writing of this Epistle, was very near to his soul, of his being "crucified along with Christ." The phrase, then, glances at those swollen, livid, blood-flecked, wales and bruises (τῷ μώλωπι αὐτοῦ, 1 Peter 2:24:) which the Roman scourging that immediately preceded his being handed over for crucifixion must have left on his sacred flesh - no part spared - the entire frame pervaded alike with disfigurement and with torture. To the body of his adorable Lord at that hour - to the human consciousness of every thoughtful spectator, defaced, shorn by the dis-honouring whip of the dignity properly connate with a human body, and made utterly vile (for this should seem to have been the symbolical meaning and intent of that customary preliminary of crucifixion) - and, at length on the cross, presenting to open view those brand-marks of degradedness, the apostle feels his own body to be, in the treatment it had received and the condition to which it had been reduced, in no small measure assimilated. Not only was he in spirit joined unto his Lord and one spirit with him; but in body likewise was he (so to speak) joined unto his Lord, and one body with him; being deeply "taught" in the lesson of what was meant by being "a sharer of his sufferings, while day by day becoming more conformed to the fashion of his death" (Philippians 3:10); clothed with Christ in this sense also; clothed with the Crucified One. The verb βαστάζω, as here introduced, may be distinguished from the περιφέροντες of 2 Corinthians 4:10, by presenting the notion of one's carrying something in thought separable from one's self, instead of being (so to speak) commingled with one's own being. "I am carrying, and can offer to your view, the brand-marks of Jesus." Chrysostom catches this view, perhaps carrying it out somewhat far, in his animated comment, "He saith not, 'I have,' but I carry;' like a man priding himself on a trophy and ensigns of a king." The use of the same verb in Acts 9:15, "to bear my Name before the Gentiles and kings," clearly illustrates its import here. This closing verse is withal no piteous appeal for commiserating sympathy. The tone of "from henceforth," betokening the feeling of one who has made up his mind not to be trifled with, precludes the notion of his mood being one of mere self-pity and tenderness. Far more does the apostle hereby make claim to share with his Lord in that mingled sentiment of reverence and deferential, sympathetic compliance, which the disciple of Christ might be expected to entertain towards his Lord, crucified for him; such a sentiment as would prompt him to lighten, if he might, his burden and pain, to take part in his enterprise, to help forward his designs. Those brand-marks would cry out in loud protest against a fellow-disciple's antipathy, tergiversation, or disesteem. Galatians 6:17Henceforth (τοῦ λοιποῦ)

Only here and Ephesians 6:10. Commonly τὸ λοιπόν. The genitive is temporal; at any time in the future as distinguished from throughout the future.

Trouble me (κόπους μοι - παρεχέτε)

Lit. give me troubles; make it necessary for me to vindicate my apostolic authority and the divine truth of my gospel.

Bear in my body

Comp. 2 Corinthians 4:10.

Marks (στίγματα)

N.T.o. The wounds, scars, and other outward signs of persecutions and sufferings in the service of Christ. Comp. 2 Corinthians 11:23 ff. The metaphor is the brands applied to slaves in order to mark their owners. Hence Rev., I bear branded. Brands were also set upon soldiers, captives, and servants of temples. See on Revelation 13:16, and comp. Revelation 7:3; Revelation 14:1, Revelation 14:9, Revelation 14:11. The scars on the apostle's body marked him as the bondservant of Jesus Christ. The passage naturally recalls the legend of Francis of Assisi.

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