Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Acts 26:16

Paul is recounting his conversion to King Herod Agrippa, Queen Bernice, and Governor Festus. Jesus told him,
I have appeared to you for this purpose,
to make you a minister and a witness
both of the things which you have seen
and of the things which I will yet reveal to you.

Gary has long posited that Saul/Paul observed much of Jesus' ministry. Paul was a Pharisee. All the other Jews knew him as one who'd spent his youth in Jerusalem, at the feet of Gamaliel (Acts 26:4). And Paul was in Jerusalem at the time of Stephen's ministry and martyrdom. Paul was busy imprisoning and murdering Christians (Acts 26:10).

Furthermore, there was no secret about what was happening with Jesus. Everybody knew about Zachariah seeing the angel in the temple, about John's birth, about the angels appearing to the shepherds, about Simeon's and Anna's proclamation of the arrival of the Messiah. During Jesus' ministry, crowds flocked to His preaching and for His miraculous healings. When He was on trial, He said they all knew what He taught; it was common public knowledge; He did nothing in secret. And the Pharisees had been spying on Jesus all along.

But even with all that common sense pointing to Paul's having been one of the Pharisees who was keeping track of Jesus, I couldn't be absolutely certain that Gary's theory was right. Then today I noticed this verse. Jesus told Paul at his conversion that He would make him a minister and a witness of the things which he had seen. We know that Paul had this mega hang-up that he didn't want to preach anything except Jesus' death and resurrection (1 Corinthians 2:2, among many others). So what was it Paul had seen that Jesus made him a witness of?

No comments:

Post a Comment