The Marks of the Lord Jesus
May 28, 2003
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, bore in his body, "marks of the Lord Jesus" (Galatians 6:17). These were wounds in his flesh, resulting from brutal beatings. (See 2 Corinthians 11:16-30). They were honorable scars that he wore proudly. These "marks" were reminders of the persecution that he suffered for the cause of Christ. Let me suggest that there are likewise "spiritual marks" we should wear by which others may know that we are true disciples of Jesus Christ. Let us consider a few of them in this study:
1). LOVE: Christ is the very essence of love. He taught it, and by His example demonstrated it. (1 Peter 2:19-24). He stated that by this (love for each other), the world would know that we are His disciples (John 13:35; Romans 12:9-10; 1 Corinthians 13:1-8; 1 Peter 2:17). We must have the best interest of one another as a guiding principle in our lives. How wonderful it would be if only each of us would put into daily practice the "Golden Rule" found in (Matthew 7:12)! Biblical love demands it. Truly, love is a mark of the Lord Jesus.
2). HUMILITY: As is true of love, so it is true of "humility", it is a manifestation of the life of Jesus, who "humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." (Philippians 2:8). In His teaching, He elevated the servant, and demoted the proud and haughty. His example is clearly seen, in that He stooped down to wash His disciple's feet. (John 13:4-17).
3). FORGIVENESS: Even as He hung on the cross of Calvary, Jesus prayed for His enemies: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:24). He taught His disciples to pray for their enemies (Matthew 5:44-45). In fact, we must forgive others their trespasses in order to be forgiven ourselves (Matthew 6:15). Clearly then, forgiveness is a mark of the Lord Jesus which we must wear to please Him.
4). OBEDIENCE: We strive from their early childhood to instill the trait of obedience in our children. It is a hard lesson to learn, but again, if we are obedient, we are telling the world that we are His children. Jesus was obedient, to His Father, and taught us that we also are to be obedient to the will of the Father (Hebrews 5:8-9). He said, "I do always those things which please Him" (John 8:29). Literally, Jesus never did even one thing that displeased His heavenly Father (1 Peter 2:22). While we know for various reasons that we will never reach total sinlessness, we should strive as best we can to always do those things that please Jesus and thereby, we too, will be pleasing to our heavenly Father. (James 1:18-25; James 2:14-26; John 12:48; Matthew 7:13-28).
5). THE WORTH OF THE INDIVIDUAL: Other sources of teaching in the world pictures the "Master as all powerful," and the servant as nothing. Truly, Jesus now has "all authority in heaven and on earth,"(Matthew 28:18; Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:18), but He elevated the servant to his rightful place! He set forth the worth of the individual. (John 3:16-17; Romans 5:6-8) We are on a plain of equality before God (Matthew 18:10-14). All of us are created in the image of God! (Hebrews 12:9; Acts 17:29). Are we wearing the marks of the Lord Jesus Christ in our daily lives?
6). CONCERN FOR THE LOST: Perhaps the greatest of His attitudes of all which you and I as Christians should work the hardest to emulate is His concern for the lost about us! His concern for those through whose lineage He came into the world is touching as we hear Him say, "Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not" (Matthew 23:37). "He came to His own, (the Jews KET) and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power (the right KET) to become sons of God, even to them that believe on His name" (John 1:11-12).
The great apostle Paul emulated Jesus is this regard in being concerned for the Jewish people, his kinsmen in the flesh. He said, "For though I am free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I may gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some." (1 Corinthians 9:19-22). Do you and I show this kind of concern for the lost in our family circle and for those among whom we circulate? See also (Romans 9:3; Romans 10:1-4).
The title and some thoughts for this article were gleaned from a short bulletin article by Louis J. Sharp in "Gospel Spotlight." I added a lot and inserted many scriptural references.