Paul spent a portion of his life actively persecuting the Church because he felt they were polluting the singular truth of God he understood as a faithful Jew.
Then he saw the light.
After that, Paul would spend the rest of his life being persecuted for the Church.
Always, in the midst of his reports about the persecutions he was facing, he was able to point others toward Christ.
His earthly suffering, Paul says, is merely a reminder of the greater suffering of Jesus. He saw his worst moments as a chance to tell anyone who would listen about how Jesus, perfect as he was, took the world’s sins onto himself and died for our sake.
The man who once thought Christianity was an atrocity and didn’t believe there was a place in salvation for anyone outside the Jewish faith now went to the ends of the earth to tell the world that Christ had died for them.
When I meditate on Paul’s life and think about how extreme his turn-around was, I wonder who it is in my life that I am shutting out of the promise of salvation. Who, if I had the authority of Paul, would I chase down and lock in chains?
More importantly, who is it that Jesus is speaking to me about? If I were to have a Damascus Road moment and be consumed by the light of heaven… If I could hear the voice of the Savior speaking directly to me, what part of the Body of Christ would I be accused of harming?
And how far would I be willing to go to share the Good News with them?
Who do you wish you could shut out of the Kingdom of Heaven? Who is Jesus calling you to go to? Where is God calling you to go? What is the most drastic turn-around you’ve made after encountering Jesus?