Skip to main content

Paul, from Pharisee to faithful servant of the Lord

As part of the month-long Bible reading challenge, I read the last fifteen pages of Acts today. That’s from chapter 21 to 28. Just personally, Acts is the easiest book I’ve read so far. Although the gospels are full of parables and stories of the Lord Jesus and the disciples, for some reason, there’s more punch to the gripping tales of Paul. I think it’s the fact that he was once Saul, the absolute hater and persecutor of those who called on the name of Jesus. He was the guy who approved of the brutal stoning of Stephen and went to “house after house” (Acts 8:3), determined to incarcerate every member of the church. But even to such an enemy of the church, the Lord Jesus appeared to him in a flash and saved him. Moreover, the Lord Jesus gave him a “heavenly vision” (26:19), to open the Gentiles’ eyes, “to turn them from darkness to light and from the authority of Satan to God.” (18).

Yes, the story of Paul the apostle is probably one of the most well-known stories in the New Testament. But, it’s one thing to hear about it and another to read through it yourself. I myself believe the Bible is real because I believe God is real. The story that Paul received a vision to preach the gospel of light to the Gentiles? Yes, it did happen. That Paul saved 276 souls stranded on a ship for 14 days? Yes, and to the modern audience, that might be easier to believe. But still, to read it and think “wow, it DID happen” – that amazement is something I’ve never fully realized until I read through it. If you read fifteen pages a day and go through all the journeys of Paul in a single read, it’s hard not to get struck by the sheer awe of it all.

In the end, even if it may not be a completely spiritual flavor, I’ve started to pick up a taste for the Word.

John G.