Brand-marks of Jesus

Galatians 6: 17: “…I bear on my body the brand-marks of Jesus.”

After midnight and we were still tracking the wounded buck. A friend had shot the big 10-pointer seven hours earlier. We thought he’d be down close. He wasn’t and we pressed on, even though the hunter had come off without his rifle. Though I knew my ranch well, in only the pale halo of the small flashlight I had long ago lost my sense of direction. I only knew that George, Felipe and I, trailed by the hunter, were on a scant blood trail taking us through some of the thickest, thorniest brush in South Texas. Now, we had lost the trail…again. We split up…again. After crawling through tangles of clawing brush, I finally reached a tiny opening. I stood to give my sore knees relief…and found myself face-to-face with the wounded buck. He immediately lowered his head to hook me. I grabbed his antlers and the fight was on. I managed to wrestle him to the ground and hold on for dear life. George and Felipe soon joined in, and with Felipe’s penknife, we finally ended the chase and began a 2-hour ordeal to get him out.

When we reached the lodge near daybreak, I was greeted by a worried wife, who stared at me with a look of shock. “Are you ok? You’ve got blood all over you! Your clothes are torn to pieces! You look like you’ve been in a fight!” I looked down and appraised myself. She was right. I looked like I had been mugged in a briar patch! A couple of that night’s scars are still with me, the “brand-marks” of a hunter.

There is another kind of brand-mark I had far rather carry through life, the brand-marks of Jesus. The Apostle Paul said, “I bear on my body the brand-marks of Jesus.” The first time I read that Scripture, it struck me profoundly. What a honor, what an incredible privilege it would be to bear the “brand-marks” of Jesus, perhaps not physically as Paul did but spiritually, in such a way that people would see the evidence of the love of Christ in my life! Though I fall far short of being there, the brand-marks I desire are not those of a hunter but those of a believer in Jesus!

Posted by David Morris 

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