“From now on let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.” Galatians 6:17 ESV A few weeks ago I was having a conversation over WhatsApp with some of my friends about branding. In this conversation, we were discussing that there are a number of brands whose products have become so popular, that the brand is now seen as synonymous with the product, and despite the different brands a particular product may come in, it is quite often referred to as/by a particular brand. Two examples of what I am describing would be the search engine Google or the vacuum cleaner brand Hoover. Even when someone is using Bing or Safari you will quite often hear them say 'I'll google it.' In a similar vain, how often to we hear the phrase 'I'm hoovering' rather than I'm vacuum cleaning, when someone is using a Henry or a Dyson. These are just two examples of companies whose brand identity is so strong it has become one of the same with the product.
In the same way these brands popularity has led them to take over the identity of other similar brands, the marks of Jesus are available to do the same for us.
In today’s reading, Paul reminds us that if we bear on our body the marks of Jesus, no one should cause us harm. Here, Paul is emphasising the need for our hope, our identity and our brand to be in Christ and what He has done for us and not what we have or can do for ourselves. To be branded by Christ, means to take on His identity, His mission, His heart and His purpose. It means that we are set free from the punishment of sin and that our salvation is eternally secured through the works of the one who branded us. It means that we are more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37), that our God is for us (Romans 8:31) and that our joy is coming in the morning (Psalm 30:5)
It is my prayer that from today on wards, you will no longer be branded by and in your own strength, but in and through the marks of Jesus, which have healed you (Isaiah 53:5). You will no longer be defined by your sin, your weaknesses, your faults or your negative faults about yourself, but by what YOUR branding, marketing and advertising team (God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit) say about YOU.
It is by taking on this identity,that according to Paul you will ensure that in every aspect of your life no one will cause you trouble. Instead, it is my hope that through having the marks of Christ plastered all over you, you will experience divine favour and see supernatural doors open for you! Find your brand identity in Christ, bear His marks with pride and watch what He does in your life!