Paul’s conversion is a miracle that proves the resurrection. Our familiarity with the story dulls us to the miracle. Paul was the last person anyone thought would follow Christ. This is why the Jerusalem church did not open their doors to welcome Paul after his baptism. It took the trusted voice of Barnabas to crack that door open.
Firstly, Paul was a violent man. He was dragging Christian men and women out of their homes. He was so convinced of his right, he saw his violence and divine retribution. The conversion of Paul is akin to a Muslim jihad giving up his way to be baptized.
Secondly, Paul was brilliant. He was fluent in Greek philosophy, Roman politics, and Jewish law. He spoke all three languages. He had a great system of knowledge and his mind was already made up. He was not seeking another truth.
Thirdly, Paul had everything. He was rich. He was a student of Gamaliel who will be remembered as the Elder in the Jewish Rabbinic tradition. And he was a Roman citizen. He won life’s lottery! He wasn’t desperate for another religious system to build his significance upon.
He was not a seeker of Christ but its most convinced and committed persecutor. So his conversion can only be explained by his experience, meeting the risen Christ. No other reason can make sense of that about face.
Pauls’ conversion strengthens our faith. Paul is the most convincing historical evidence of Jesus’ resurrection. No other religion can claim such an adherent.
More importantly, we should never give up seeking a person’s. If Paul can be rescued, everyone is a candidate.
Share a conversion story you know or heard of that can only be traced to God’s work.
Are there people in your circle you dismiss as someone who will never follow Christ. Why?
Who are one or two people you will commit to praying for this Advent season?
Weekly Prayer: “Christ, thank you for saving me. Christ save ________ and make him your disciple.”