“Jesus said, ‘But rise and stand on your feet; for 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.'” Acts 26:16
In Acts, Paul recounts his conversion on the road to Damascus. Paul had been traveling the region, persecuting, imprisoning and killing those who proclaimed faith in Jesus. But his world was turned upside down when Jesus showed up and told him He had other plans in store.
It struck me as interesting that Jesus not only stopped Paul in his tracks, but also chose Paul for a very important mission. I can’t imagine Paul’s confusion in that moment and the paradigm shift that happened shortly after. Paul went from being a Christian-killer to planting a large number of the early churches, writing two thirds of our New Testament, being imprisoned several times, and eventually martyred all in the name of Jesus Christ.
Jesus had a plan and a purpose for Paul. He knew the potential and ability that he had created inside of Paul. The point that hit my core was that God had a ministry and mission for Paul while he was on the road to Damascus in order to persecute Jesus’ followers. Try to wrap your mind around that. Jesus caused him to do a complete 180 degree turn in his life’s mission. Here Paul was, thinking he was doing good things for God by irradicating Christianity and in that exact moment, Jesus recruited him to be one of the founders of the faith.
Jesus is still doing that same miracle today. He shows up in the middle of our path of life, in the center of our sinfulness, and says, “You’re mine and I have bigger plans for you.” Stop and ponder the wonders He has done in your life, even when you were defiantly doing things your way.
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. -Romans 5:8