Paul, Called by God? A Biblical Short Story
Paul, An Apostle of Jesus?
Paul is one of the most pivotal characters in the Bible. He is also to some one of the most controversial characters in the Bible. He was never one of the original 12 disciples but called himself an apostle. His claims to this title come from his calling on the road to Dimascus by someone he claims was Jesus.
Paul went on in his lifetime to write many letters to a great many churches and people. His letters and other writings make up 2/3 of the New Testament. Here is his account of what happened in a fictional telling using his words from the Bible.
Paul, His Story (A Fictional Account In His Own Words)
I’m Paul, I’m an apostle of Jesus but not one of the original 12 apostles. Well there were actually 11 original apostles because of the betrayal of Judas. Still, as the story goes I was called by Jesus on the lonely road to Damascus. Here is an excerpt from my words on this calling as recorded by Luke in what you call Acts 9:1-31,
“Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. And falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.” Acts 9 Vs 3-5
I was using my traditional Hebrew name at the time, Saul. There I was walking along with my guards on my way to arrest followers of the blasphemer named Jesus. Suddenly I was stopped in his tracks. A bright light blinded me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” Who are you, Lord?" I asked. "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied. There I was on my trembling and sIt was here Paul received instructions, “but rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do
I did what I was told and after three days of losing my sight I Saul of Tarsis became Paul the Apostle but not without some controversy.
My apostleship was contested by the Jerusalem church, specifically Peter, James (the brother of Jesus) and John?. According to what you refer to as “Bible scholars” there are veiled references in my letters, like Galatians, to friction between the leaders of the church in Jerusalem and Paul,
And from those who seemed to be influential (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—those, I say, who seemed influential added nothing to me. On the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel to the circumcised“ Galatians 2:6-7
A closer look at Galatians reveals not my disdain for the church leaders in Jerusalem but a quick check to see if they are on the same page as me when it comes to proclaiming the Gospel. Paul, I was not worried about what the leaders had to say to me because either way, as I have said many times in my letters my appointing was not from man, but from Jesus
Paul’s Calling - Some Final Thoughts
The Book of Acts, details Paul's calling by Jesus to be an Apostle. While it also may be argued by some that Paul did not spend the almost three and a half years of personal teaching by Jesus but he most assuredly had heard the message Jesus was proclaiming, through divine revelation, from other people and quite possibly he could have been one of the curious people in the crowds of people always around Jesus, and overheard His teaching once, twice or even more. After all Paul was a resident of Jerusalem
Considering all the evidence put forth in Paul's letters and as Acts 13 states Paul was truly “set apart' by God to do a good work throughout the gentile nations. As Christian we are “set apart” by God to continue the same work as Paul, proclaim the Word of God until the day of the Lord's return.
Like Paul, Christians today will run into skeptics, naysayers, and all manner of people opposed to hearing the truth. There may even be times when opposition will come from members of those whom “seem to be influential” but also like Paul, Christians need to remember where their true calling comes from and press onward. ChristianS need to sow the seeds of love wherever they are.
As Christians you are “set apart” by God to continue the same work as Paul, proclaim the Word of God until the day of the Lord's return.
© 2020 Timothy Whitt