Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Did Paul ever meet Jesus

#RAD #ATEND G-d (Christ) #IIC714

Did Paul ever meet Jesus

Recently, someone through Social Media commented, and queried:

I know Paul wrote most of the new testament. But is it true he never even meet Jesus.

And my reply may leave some, perhaps many, of you gasping:

Yes, and more to the point no, and possibly... confused yet??”

Yes, I gave him three (3) differing, even seemingly contradictory

 * Yes, Paul never met Jesus
 * No, that’s not correct that Paul ‘never met Jesus’, and
 * Maybe it’s possible that Paul did meet Jesus

answers a few moments earlier.  So now, before my readers, anyone, begins to conclude I a doubleminded man, please permit me to explain.  And before I get into the explanation, please bear with me as I refer to something I wrote about approximately a week ago – “Paul the swindler? Or Apostle...” – and here too, before anyone simply looks at the Blog title, and concludes, ‘heretic’, please read the Blog!

Let’s begin with the first – ‘yes, Paul never met Jesus’ – by taking a look at what Scripture tells us about Saul of Tarsus / Paul, and his conversion encounter, shall we?  In the Book of Acts Chapter 9, verses 1 through 19, we read of Paul’s miraculous conversion to being a follower of Christ.  Later in Acts, Chapters 22 and 26 Paul speaks again about his ‘conversion experience’ with others.  In Acts 9:5 we read, Paul speaking – “Who are you, Lord?” – which lends itself certainly to the idea that Saul who was also known as Paul, had no idea who he was talking to, as if he had never met Jesus. - Acts 9 - http://bit.ly/24Xp6QJ, ESV.  See also Acts 22:6 - http://bit.ly/24XpnTC and Acts 26:12 - http://bit.ly/24XpcHY  

Next, let’s look at – ‘no, that’s not correct that Paul ‘never met Jesus’ ’, – and consider what Paul himself said about his, shall I say, “Internship” as an Apostle, according to Galatians Chapter One:

Paul said of himself, that he “…did not receive it [the Gospel] from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus…” – Galatians 1:12, ESV, emphasis in square parentheses mine.  Paul made a fairly poignant point of highlighting that A) – he was not “taught the Gospel by other humans”, not by the 12 nor by any other man, verse 12, and B) that it was through the simple and very direct revelation of G-d (Christ), also verse 12, that Paul was taught.  Ergo, Paul was taught expressly by and directly by the Risen Lord Jesus.  In verse 18 Paul reveals that his ‘time of training’ – “…after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas…” – lasted three years, and in verse 19 Paul again reiterates that he was not “Discipled” by any of the other Apostles. – Galatians 1 - http://bit.ly/24Xqp24.  Thus the point can be argued that Paul did not meet, or *know* Jesus in His pre-crucifixion, human incarnate form.

And finally, let’s look at – ‘Maybe it’s possible that Paul did meet Jesus’ – and consider some texts, and implications from a little earlier in Scripture, in Acts 6, 7 and 8.  The Book of Acts covers a time span of some thirty thirty-five odd years of the early Church.  Acts Chapters One through Five covers between one and three years (from the Resurrection), Acts 6, 7 and 8 cover between another two to five years (from the first couple of Chapters).  And Acts 9, Saul’s / Paul’s conversion is another five to seven years later again, (so Paul’s conversion would be between five and maybe seven years later still, after the Resurrection of Christ).   With that in mind, consider the events of Acts 6:8 through Acts 7:60, which would have happened roughly three possibly four years, post the Crucifixion, and Resurrection of Christ, wherein we read about both the very first martyr for Christ, Stephen, and also a very powerful speech by Stephen, followed by his execution.  And consider the words of Acts 7:58 about one particular young man:

“…witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul.”, ESV –  http://bit.ly/24XwV8M

A young man named Saul”, was an onlooker at Stephen’s martyrdom, and a guarder of cloaks.  The text tells us Paul (Saul) was a young man, 17 or 18, perhaps 20 or 21, maybe?  A young man entrusted with guarding the cloaks of those who were about to execute (stone to death) Stephen.  And based upon the timelines of Acts Chapters One through Nine, we have between an eight and 15 year passing of time.  So let’s just run with 12 years, (this is a guess, could be longer, could be fewer), passing when Saul had his conversion experience.  Let’s use about five years (post Resurrection) for when Saul, witnessed Stephen’s execution and let’s also use 21-years-of-age for Saul’s age also when he saw Stephen’s execution, and guarded the cloaks of his peers (these are both guesses, of course, and as such they both could be longer, or fewer in years).  If, and yes, I get it, this is an “IF” Saul was 21 years old when Stephen was martyred, and Stephen’s martyring took place c. ~ five years following the Resurrection of Christ, this would place Saul at approximately 15 years of age at the time of the Crucifixion. 

Why would Saul’s age, at the time of the Crucifixion matter, or be relevant?  Perhaps no reason.  But, perhaps a 15-year-old Saul was one of many Pharisees-in-training, standing in the crowd the day Jesus was Crucified.  Perhaps, going back over the roughly three years of Jesus Earthly Ministry, a 12 to 15 years old, up-and-coming, Pharisee in training named Saul, had occasion to hear, and initially reject, Jesus personal first hand preaching?  Once more, this is speculation, as Scripture is silent on the specifics, therefore they are not points of vital significance.  Nonetheless, it is within reason to conclude at least the possibility of Saul being a first-hand witness to the pre-Crucifixion Jesus, and His exploits.

Thus, the clear answer to – “Did Paul ever meet Jesus?” – is, in my humble opinion, a resounding YES!  Yes, Paul met Jesus, and I think it more than fair to surmise that Paul met (at least saw, and knew of) both the pre-Crucified incarnate Jesus, and as well as the post Resurrection, Risen Lord, Jesus.

“No Jesus, NO peace” and yet, “Know Jesus, KNOW peace”

How does one get to “know” Jesus?  Simple, invite Him into your heart, as Jesus says: “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” [Revelation 3:20 NIV]  How can be assured that this Jesus stuff means anything?  Well because the Bible tells us so, as the Apostle Paul wrote:

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” [Romans 10:9-10 NIV]

And for those of you who say to me, I can’t be bothered reading the Bible, “it’s confusing” or “it’s a waste of my time”, may I draw your attention to what the Bible says about wisdom: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” [Proverbs 9:10 NIV]

If nothing else, PLEASE read two chapters from the Bible – (don’t own one, sorry NO excuse, if you’re reading this, you can access this: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%203:16&version=NIV) John 3 and John 14!

John 3:16 says:  “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

And John 14:6 says: “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Well that’s it, that’s Da Bauz’s take on the question, “Did Paul ever meet Jesus”, this 17th day of May, 2016 © 2016, All Rights Reserved. wr (Da Bauz, Christian Zionist “creationist” too!)

Just sayin’...

What is #RAD? #RAD is:

R epent of rejecting Christ
A ccept Christ as your Lord
D evelop your relationship with G-d

#RAD your relationship with the Living Almighty God Himself as your personal Lord and Saviour depends on it!

What is #ATEND G-d (Christ)? Ask me!


II 2nd
C hronicles

John 3:16, Revelation 3:20, Romans 10:9 -10, Revelation 21:27, II Corinthians 5:21 and I John 5:13 / John 20:31!


Cited or consulted sources and resources

http://bit.ly/1kliLwA - “Bible Hub”

http://bit.ly/1kliTMD - “BibleGateway”

http://bit.ly/1MzWhEQ - “Bible.org

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