DEVOTIONAL – DEC 19
APOSTLE PAUL’S TESTIMONY
Leslie M. John
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey” (Zechariah 9:9 ESV)
“Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’” (Matthew 21:5 ESV)
Paul, in his testimony before King Agrippa said that before his conversion to Christianity he had much grudge and hatred toward Christians and their beliefs. Therefore, he decided to do many things contrary to the name of Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth. He had shut up many Christians in prisons with the authority that he received from the chief priests and voiced against them when they were put to death. He punished believers in synagogue and compelled them to blaspheme Christ. His hatred towards Christians was so great that he persecuted them in even in unknown cities. Moreover, he obtained letter of authority from chief priest and was going to Damascus to execute his purpose.
Paul’s addressing excels anybody’s expectations that even in such a great disadvantageous position as prisoner as he was, he exclaims with much emotion “At midday, O king” and then proceeds. The way he addresses is so pleasing”
“At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me” (Acts 26:13)
Paul’s addressing next is again so pleasing
“Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision” (Acts 26:19)
Paul was speaking about his conversion. He narrates as to how a great light from heaven shone around midday and Paul and all those who accompanied him fell down to the ground.
Only Paul heard a voice in Hebrew tongue from heaven that questioned him “Saul,. Saul why persecutest me? It is hard for you to kick against pricks” Then Paul cried out saying “Who art thou Lord?” and the voice said “I am Jesus whom thou persecutest”. But the voice from Lord Jesus Christ comforted Paul.
The Lord said to Ananias that Paul was a chosen vessel to minister the word of God and be a witness for Him, of all that he has seen, and that which he would see in future. Lord Jesus Christ sent Paul specifically to carry His Gospel to the Gentiles.
Paul said to King Agrippa that he was not disobedient to the vision and command that he received from heaven. He preached Gospel of Jesus Christ at Damascus, at Jerusalem, at Judea and Samaria and then in uttermost parts of the earth to the Gentiles. The message he carried was that those who hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ should repent of their sins to Lord Jesus Christ and receive salvation.
It was this reason why Paul was caught by Jews in the temple and they made attempts to kill him. As he obtained command and help from God he continued preaching none other beliefs than that the prophets and Moses spoke of. He spoke of prophecies that were fulfilled in Lord Jesus Christ. He preached that Christ who was spoken of by prophets needs to have come, die for the sins of mankind and be the first among the resurrected. He preached that Christ suffered death and showed light unto the Gentiles as also to the Jews.
Paul indeed realized that it is hard to kick against the pricks!