Unbranded cattle in the early days of ranching were often nabbed by rustlers and burned with the mark of whoever caught them.
Sounds like something that could happen to people with no direction or focus. After all, we do have an enemy that shoots fiery darts.
A long time ago a man named Paul said he bore the “marks of the Lord Jesus.” He could have meant this metaphorically, denoting himself as a slave of Christ, branded by his owner. Or perhaps he was referring to the scars from beatings and stonings he received because of his faith.
But I get the sense that Paul was using those “marks” as cattlemen use a brand—for identification and protection.
“From now on, let no one trouble me,” he wrote. He could have been saying, “No rustlers need bother. I’m branded. See this? It’s the mark of Christ. I belong to Him.”
One quick look to the right hip of the calf pictured above, and area ranchers can see who it belongs to.
Is that how it is with us? Can people cast an eye at our life and see the mark of Jesus?
Whose brand do you wear?