Sunday, January 06, 2008

The Mark of Jesus

Tattoos are all the rage right now. While other cultures have various types of body art as a part of their culture, here in the west tattoos until relatively recently were relegated to military personnel and criminals with or without prison records. (No connection is intended between those two categories.) Now they are symbols of personal expression and style.

This is not a blog on tattoos. My personal opinion on tattoos is irrelevant.

But I've been thinking about a different type of body marker. In the Fall of this year, Lord willing, I will begin a series working through the gospel of John. I am looking forward to it. But I think it might be one of the most challenging series' I have ever done. Verses like John 13:35 are haunting in their bluntness.
John 13:35 (NASB95)
35 “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Does the world know that we love one another? Can they see Jesus in us? Do they know, can they make the connection between our love for one another and the closeness of our walk to the crucified Savior we follow? Does the way we sacrifice for one another, cherish our time together as believers, celebrate and cry together, tolerate one another, bear with one another, forgive one another--does it mark us, does it "tattoo" us as belonging to Him who laid down His life for us and calls us to deny ourselves to daily take up our cross and follow Him?

I wonder. And I shudder at what the honest answer really is.


Tim said...

Great question Marty. And you're right, Jesus' bluntness is alarming.

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

I'm all for starting it right NOW!!! difficult passages and all - let dig in!

clc said...

i think that verse is very interesting not only because of what it says, but what it doesn't say. it doesn't say the world will know us by our faith, by the way we serve one another or teach one another or even by how we behave. (although i believe those things will follow.) but the greatest thing, as 1 cor. says, is love. do we love one another? but not only is this the greatest thing, it's the hardest thing. do we love (as you once said pastor marty) radically.