I Haven’t Always Liked Paul
If you’ve known me for a considerable amount of time, then you know I don’t always think highly of the apostle Paul. (If you don’t know who the apostle Paul is, then just know he’s credited with writing the bulk of the New Testament scriptures).
I have always thought he was a little arrogant and into himself, but then I realize we all are and it probably just makes him more human and relatable.
But in the last few days, I’ve developed a richer appreciation for Paul.
Paul’s Revelation of Christ
Paul never knew Jesus.
Think about that for a minute. He was a very accomplished Pharisee (see here) but he was not a very accomplished disciple of Jesus’. He only knew who Jesus was from the grapevine.
Paul didn’t have the gospels to tell him about the life of Jesus.
Paul only witnessed the effects of Jesus’ ministry. He persecuted followers of Jesus’ Way and considered them a disgrace to Judaism.
More importantly, Paul didn’t have access to a copious amount of letters some apostle wrote to a bunch of churches telling them about Jesus Christ and what it means to live a life from faith.
The only thing Paul had was knowledge of the Old Testament and a revelation of Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus.
Yet Paul remains one of the most passionate and influential Christians in human history. More than two-thousand years after his death, we still devour his insights and revelations, some of us using them as a daily way to guide us in our life of faith.
Your Revelation of Christ
If we were going to be honest with ourselves, most everything we know about Jesus Christ is borrowed revelation and borrowed information from Paul. In fact, the bulk of Christian theology is built on what we read about Jesus in the gospels and what Paul says in his letters.
Which begs the question: Have you had your own revelation of Jesus as Christ yet? In other words, like Paul, has your understanding of who Jesus is “knocked you off your donkey”?
What would happen if your faith came alive in a new way not because you read something in a book, but because you had an encounter with the risen Christ?
My Reflections on the Revelation of Jesus as Christ
This is something I’ve been weighing the last few days, and quite honestly, something I’ve been praying for because I’m not entirely sure I can pinpoint the day that Jesus knocked me off my donkey.
For me, and maybe for you, my understanding of who Jesus is has been more about a slow awakening than anything else.
The gospels and Paul’s revelation/insight has helped, but I can confidently say they’re not the foundation for why I believe what I believe.
I’m just amazed that the thing that drove Paul to accomplish so much for the kingdom of God wasn’t something written in the pages of scripture, but a life-altering revelation that was burned into his heart.
What’s the revelation fueling your passion?