Paul – Apostle to the Gentiles

Next to Jesus, I don’t think there is anyone in the whole Bible who intrigues me more than the Apostle Paul. And that is actually saying a lot considering some of the individuals who God’s Holy Word introduces us to, including Moses, Isaiah, David and Peter, to name but a few.

I’ve mentioned before that when I drive into work, I start out coming down a good sized hill which overlooks my city and even though my city is not large as compared to some cities within the world, the size of it is still intimidating when I see it spread out before me in the early hours of the morning, before the sun has actually come up.

I often think of what Paul thought when he looked upon some of the cities that he entered. Was he intimidated by their size and the number of people living within them? Somehow I think not. In fact, considering what Paul had experienced and the revelation he had been given, directly from Jesus, the exact opposite might actually have been the case.

Whether we realize it or not, we can be affected by the size and also the powers that appear to be in control, of that which we see. But Paul knew something that many people within those cities didn’t know and he understood and acknowledged who was really in control of all that he saw, and that reality alone, literally changed everything.

Did the other Apostles know that God was going to select someone to be His spokesperson to the Gentiles? I don’t see anything in the New Testament that indicates that they did. Paul’s arrival on the scene, as it were, from all indications, took the other Apostles and disciples by surprise, as it did the whole collective Christian church, at that time.

There were some that knew of Saul/Paul but what they knew or heard, as it related to the welfare of the body of believers in the new Christian church, was definitely not good. But God, according to His purposes, had more to reveal.

We’ve all read how Paul encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus as recorded in Acts 9. Note in particular, Acts 9:15-16 where the Lord says the following to Ananias “But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; for I will show him how much he must suffer in behalf of My name.”

Paul, a chosen instrument of the Lord.

I’m including an excellent overview of Paul’s conversion and the revelation given to him by Jesus, which includes Paul’s own account of what transpired as recorded in Galatians 1:11-24, which can be viewed here, and I would encourage you to read it.

In Galatians 1:15-17, Paul specifically speaks of the grace to which he has been called. I think that is one of the qualities about Paul that consistently draws me to him. Paul speaks of and lives out the grace he has received in just about everything that he does and says. In spite of the revelation he was given, Paul consistently illustrates that grace.

It’s revealing how reading through all of Paul’s letters to the various churches and Paul’s instructions to Timothy, paints a picture of a man who is totally devoted to Christ and that picture that is painted consistently honours Jesus.

I have this picture in my mind about the time when Paul was told by the Holy Spirit that he would not be seeing the disciples he was with again. You can read about it in Acts 20. In particular, Acts 20:25 records where Paul tells the disciples he is with that they shall see his face no more.

Acts 20:36-38 reads as follows: “When he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. And they all began to weep aloud and embraced Paul, and repeatedly kissed him, grieving especially over the word which he had spoken, that they would not see his face again. And they were accompanying him to the ship.”

Those Scriptures speak volumes. That is what Jesus does and it is beautiful beyond words.

Keep the faith. Home is just around the corner.

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!


  1. RE: apostle Paul
    Bruce, thanks for this good post. Reading through Paul’s epistles is always a wake up call. The man was DEVOTED to Jesus Christ and the Gospel. He could write with honesty and without boasting, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” – 1 Cor. 11:1. Yet, Paul also admitted to his spiritual struggles and I appreciate that about him. In contrast are the blemishless hagiographies of “saints” and false religious leaders.


  2. I am going to make some time to read that section of Acts tonight. Just reading about the parting of the disciples and Paul here has got me tear-filled. It must have been heart-wrenching for them.
    Thank you, Bruce. Going out into the sunshine (and ice) with Bella doggy now. 🙂


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