Acts 9:19 For several days (Saul who would be known as the apostle “Paul”) was with the disciples in Damascus, 20 and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.” 21 All who heard him were amazed and said, “Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem among those who invoked this name? And has he not come here for the purpose of bringing them bound before the chief priests?” 22 Saul became increasingly more powerful and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Messiah.
In the book of Acts we’re told that Saul, who was a highly respected young Pharisee, became the Christian apostle named Paul. This is the Paul who wrote a large % of what is now the New Testament. At first this conversion seems strange given that Saul persecuted Christians, throwing them in prison. He was not immediately trusted in early Christian circles for this reason. But over time it became clear why God had chosen Saul. Given his intimate knowledge of the Hebrew scriptures, the law and the prophets, he was a powerful advocate for Jesus (v.22).
In a small way I can relate to Saul/Paul. I was not raised in a church-going family, which makes me somewhat different than many church leaders who have been active in the church from birth. It’s been a bit easier for me to see Christianity through the eyes of one who is new to the faith – as I once was. Over the years I believe I’ve lost some of that perspective, but I hope to never lose it completely.
Heavenly Father you call unlikely people to do your will. Give us grace to say yes to you, even when it doesn’t all seem to make sense. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.