In order for us to get a better idea of the gravity of the final days of Paul, we must remember the final days of Saul, first. Saul, the persecutor of Jesus’ followers was a most unlikely beacon of the light and Good News of the Gospel. Yet, as God tells us time and time again through the Bible, that it is when we least expect something, we should very much expect it. For without these twists and turns of the storyline throughout the Bible we may get lulled into the goodness and grace of our Lord and somehow forget about the life altering power He possesses. When Jesus met Saul on the road to Damascus, millions of lives would be altered through the coming years.
The conversion Saul experienced, becoming Paul, and one of the strongest proponents of Jesus through the rest of his life, should offer us a not-so-subtle reminder that regardless of where we are in our life right now, we can change, through Christ Jesus; into the person we are called to be.
In my opinion, as much as the last days of Paul’s life are about Paul, they are even more about Jesus, and the eternal impact He has on our lives when we let Him. If you have taken the step to accept Jesus into your heart as your personal Lord and Savior, you have already received the greatest gift, ever given. By accepting Jesus, you have received a life that will be lived eternally, in Heaven. The story, as proven by Paul’s conversion, cannot end there. Just as it is important to first receive the gift, from Jesus, it is equally as important that we learn to give the gift as well. As Jesus says in Acts 20:35,”It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
What that means, to me, is that as awesome and wonderful as it is to accept Jesus into my life and know that I am saved, if I can help others find their own road to Damascus, and let Jesus intersect with them, then I will be blessed, more. What we begin to see, here, is that the Great Commission is more than just a good idea; it is an essential way for us to live, as Christians. I love how Paul spends his remaining years preaching the Good News to anyone who will listen. He wants to give, as often as he can give, because he knows the power of Jesus. In fact, more than anyone else, Paul may have known the true power of Jesus and the grace and forgiveness our Savior exemplifies. As Paul faced his final days knowing that his death was imminent, his desire to share the Good News, about the Messiah, never slowed.
As much as I respect the courageous and impactful work of Paul during his ministry, I also find that his work makes me question my own “output” as a Christian who is tasked with living out the Great Commission. My prayer for each of us is that we have our Damsacus moment, soon, and take the same approach Paul did in sharing the Good News with reckless abandon. With all that is going on in the world, our Good News is something everyone could use.