Gal 6:17-18 “From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus. Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.”
Paul has stated his desire for the churches and his confidence in Christ with passion and purpose. He has denounced those that would nullify the grace of Jesus in the lives of the brethren by restoring the bondage of the law. The Galatian brethren have been assured of his love for them, and now he is bringing his letter to a close.
There comes a time in certain situations where we have said all we can say about a matter. We must then stand on the truth as it is in Jesus and continue steadfast in our love for the brethren. Our trust must be in Him and Him alone.
The word translated as “henceforth” is defined by Strong’s to mean “remaining time.” Paul is saying that for the rest of his life no one should draw near him with this toil (see Strong’s definition of “trouble”). We should be firm in our determination not to be weakened or worn down by anyone’s insistence that there is a better way than Jesus Christ.
Although Paul often makes mention in the greetings of his epistles of his position as a servant, he does not do so in this letter. Instead, he waits until the close of the letter to bring attention to his place as a servant. The idea of being a servant is set forth in his assertion that he was carrying in his body the marks of the Lord Jesus.
The word “bear” here means to carry or take up. The Greek word soma, which is translated as “body” in this passage can also mean “slave.” The Greek word translated as “marks” is stigma, and it carries the idea “(to “stick”, that is, prick); a mark incised or punched (for recognition of ownership), that is, (figuratively) scar of service.” Paul was clearly stating that he was marked as belonging to Jesus.
It was in being bought (owned) by Jesus that Paul found his great liberty and strength. He affirmed to the Galatians that in Christ there is neither bond nor free (Gal 3:28). How is it that we are neither bond nor free? Being bound to Jesus, we find the same liberty that Paul experienced. The world cannot defeat us and men cannot bind us. At the same time, we serve Him with joy and are thankful to bear marks that declare us to be His.
When we belong to Jesus, men can no longer trouble us. We can stand on His promises and trust His grace. We have the wisdom to understand that having born testimony to the truth of Jesus, we must then pray that His grace would be with the spirit of our brethren. It is always vital to acknowledge that understanding is never dispensed by us, but can only come from Him.
Finally, the word “amen” is a seal. Strong’s defines it as “properly firm, that is, (figuratively) trustworthy; adverbially surely (often as interjection so be it).” It is interesting to note that this is the same word translated as “verily” in every instance where Jesus said “Verily, I say…” with the exception of Luke 11:51. Other than Jesus’ use in the gospels, this word is never again used in the New Testament to mean “verily,” but is the only word used as “amen.” To everything that Christ declared “verily” our only response can be “amen.”
May we not be troubled by the conceits of men, but with joy bear the marks of servants of Jesus Christ and say, “Amen!”