We all recognize this man named Apostle Paul. We have heard of him and read his incredible letters that are a part of the New Testament in the Bible. But what do we know about this man? We know that he was and still is an amazing teacher, a colossal figure of the first century world. No wonder some churches and Christian denominations have assigned sainthood to this humble yet greater than life man.
I would venture to say that no other person in the Bible, aside from Jesus Christ Himself, had a more profound influence on his world and ours than this man, the Apostle Paul.
He was a powerful witness of God’s faithfulness. But he was not always that witness of God’s faithfulness. We sometimes forget that all human being, no matter how great an impact they had during their lifetime on this earth, CAME FROM THE SAME PLACE; A WORLD OF SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS AND PHYSICAL BRUTALITY.
Saul had a great upbringing. His parents were Pharisees, members of the party most fervent in Jewish nationalism and strict in obedience of the Law of Moses. He was a Jew of Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no insignificant city.
Saul grew up in a very controlled Jewish environment. Friendship’s with Gentiles was not allowed. Greek ideas were despised. His parents made sure that Saul could speak Greek, Latin and Aramaic, a language of Judea, a derivative of Hebrew.
Saul and his parents looked to Jerusalem as Islam looks to Mecca. Saul grew up in a home where he constantly was reminded that they are the People of Promise to whom alone the Living God had revealed His glory and His plans. By his 13th birthday, Saul had mastered Jewish history, the psalms and the prophets.
“A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.” C.S. Lewis “Mere Christianity”