“I did not receive it from any man,
nor was I taught it; rather,
I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.”
Paul was a highly educated and intelligent man, steeped in the teaching and traditions of his faith. These had been passed down to him by other religious leaders, teachers and experts in their law. All this however had not prepared him to recognise, respect and receive the Messiah Jesus Christ.
Jesus was radically different from what was expected and hoped for. His presence, teaching and ministry was so offensive to many that they conspired to kill Him. Paul himself was passionately active in attempting to track down and stamp out the new faith. He even stood by and supported those who stoned Stephen to death.
However Jesus has chosen Paul for His divine purpose and was ready to turn Paul’s greatest strengths into his greatest weakness before transforming them again into great assets. He confronted Paul on the road to Damascus. Paul fell from his horse before Him and was blinded in a startling challenge to his spiritual and intellectual arrogance and his lack of vision and insight.
The effect on Paul was life-changing. During the period that followed he did not seek out and study the experiences and teachings of those who had become believers before him Instead, and in ways that he does not enlarge upon, he received both a revelation of the Lord Jesus and of the deep truths of His gospel of salvation. This enabled Paul to develop and become the great missionary and teacher of the faith revealed in the New Testament.
His claim is clear. His message is God’s message; His gospel is God’s gospel; His words are God’s words. And, as he would say later, his life was not his own but belonged to God Who could do with it as He wished.
Ask the Holy Spirit to convict you with the glory and truth of God’s gospel.
Holy Spirit please lead me (deeper) into the Truth that is Jesus Christ, the revelation of God’s love, life and glory. Amen.