A behind-the-scenes look at the life of Paul the Apostle shows how great is God’s mercy and what makes this apostle special among the early Christian preachers.
St. Paul, the true and authoritative apostle to the Gentiles, was a descendant of the tribe of Benjamin, one of the 12 tribes of Israel. Incidentally, the first king of Israel, King Saul, was also from the same tribe.
The apostle Paul, earlier known as Saul, was a Roman citizen and a Pharisee. He was responsible for the persecution of the early Christians. One day, he journeyed to Damascus with letters from the high priest authorizing him to arrest the disciples of the Lord, both men and women, and bring them back bound to Jerusalem. On his way to Damascus, Saul had an encounter with Jesus that changed his life.
Let us discover from the following verses in the Holy Bible the details of this amazing incident.
Saul was converted as a result of this experience and changed his name to Paul. Paul the Apostle became one of the most dynamic, courageous, and powerful preachers of the faith and fiercely loyal servant of Jesus Christ. Paul the Apostle was a well-educated man driven by his passion and love for Christ and the Church. He was an erudite apostle to whom writing was easy, and his epistles were written with different purposes.
Paul the Apostle traveled some 10,000 miles (around 16,000 km) on his missionary journeys. He traveled using the incredible Roman road network, which trailed through the natural river and mountain passes, used for military transportation, and sometimes by sea. He journeyed across Israel, Syria, Turkey, Greece, and Italy. Paul the Apostle traversed extensively from Jerusalem to Rome, preaching the gospel, planting new churches, teaching the elders, and training, encouraging, and admonishing people who recently converted to Christianity.
His final destination was Rome. Emperor Nero ordered the Apostle’s execution due to charges brought by the Romans accusing him of acting as a ring leader and instigating the burning of Rome. Since Paul the Apostle was a Roman citizen, they did not crucify him. He was beheaded outside the walls of Rome on June 29th, 67 AD. He was about 57 years old when he was martyred.
St. Paul in the Bible — The Student
St. Paul in the Bible — The Servant
St. Paul in the Bible — The Slave
St. Paul in the Bible — The Soldier
Lessons from the Life of Paul the Apostle
Paul the Apostle was an inspirational servant of God, and we can learn many things from his ministry. Here are five key takeaways from the life of this great apostle.
- No one is outside of God’s reach and beyond the saving grace of God. God can use anybody in His service, and it does not matter how hostile or sinful they have been before.
- The Almighty One can use anyone to carry out His mission, and He can equip them for the work He wants them to do.
- We are not defined by our achievements. Paul the Apostle always knew that all of his accomplishments were nothing and believed with all his heart that he was saved by grace through faith in Christ Jesus and not by his efforts or works. His faithfulness to Jesus and His teachings were demonstrated personally, practically, and publicly.
- We should always focus on God’s calling and live with eternity in mind. Paul the Apostle never lost focus on his calling and considered Christ as the ultimate goal of all his pursuits. He considered himself dead to self but alive in Christ and this earthly life as nothing but a preparation for life after death.
- We should never try to be selfish in our dealings with others and help people develop. Paul the Apostle never lived to please humans and was selfless in his action and words. He mentored fellow believers, demonstrated boldness and humility, and held others accountable.