For some individuals who have served the Lord faithfully, the opposition to that service has ended in an unpleasant situation, and it ended with the body being undergoing unpleasant beatings, even death. While I have been threatened many times, I have never had to undergo such confrontations, with my body receiving a few “brand marks”. The Apostle was unable to say the same!
Reading Galatians 6:17, and having dealt with his new found faith in Jesus Christ instead of his identification of circumcision as a Jew, although he had been circumcised previously, he identifies the intensity of his convictions by showing what he suffered physically as a result.
The Jewish people identified their heritage through circumcision. Paul was a Pharisee of the Pharisees, which testified of his devotion, (Damascus Road experience (Acts 9, 23:6). Interestingly, this was adapted prior to the Law, but later became a requirement to be recognized as a Jew and recognized as under the Abrahamic Covenant. With Jesus Christ fulfilling all such requirements there is no need for such, but it does produce cleanliness.
We read often of Paul being in the midst of opposition because of his preaching. Sometimes it seems hard for us to digest that such opposition could result over the proclamation and application of a law of this nature, but it did, and it was. My friends, just suppose such a law existed today. How far would I, or you, be willing to go in order to live, or avoid being beaten with scars remaining. It is happening in many parts of this planet. Hunger abounds, destitution is abundant, life is cheap, but the majority of it is not from the testimony of Christians under the conditions we have described, thankfully!
Let us pause and pray… Lord help us to so help others, even at the cost of comfort or scars!