Today we are going to look at Paul’s Jesus. Paul, who as a Pharisee was known as Saul. Paul who became a follower of Jesus, after encountering him on the road to Damascus. Paul who describes himself as the least of the apostles, former persecutor of the church and the foremost of sinners. Because Paul chose to follow, believe in and receive Jesus Christ, most of the New Testament was written by this man and he sought to serve his master, Jesus Christ. For Paul’s life and ministry, we have much to be thankful to God! But what can we briefly learn about Jesus from Paul?
Reading Colossians 1:15-20 - The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
See how Paul piles up the metaphors about Jesus - image of the invisible God; firstborn over all creation, invisible and visible and also their creator and sustainer! This Jesus is the head of the church, all those who follow, believe and receive Him! This Jesus has the supremacy over all things! This Jesus, the man, had the fullness of God within him! This Jesus, who was fully man yet simultaneously fully God! This man Jesus who was fully God, yet became nothing by becoming human, in order that people may choose to be restored back into relationship with God or not. This Jesus the re-conciliator, redeemer and peacemaker through his death on the cross! Peace with God, only comes through Jesus’ blood shed on the cross! There is no other way! That’s why Jesus Himself said “I am the way, the truth and the life. Nobody can come to the Father except through Me!” You an almost sense Paul going “WOW!!”
Now reading 1 Timothy 1:12-17 - I am grateful to Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because he judged me faithful and appointed me to his service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and a man of violence. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the foremost. But for that very reason I received mercy, so that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display the utmost patience, making me an example to those who would come to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Here Paul reveals his relationship with Jesus! Jesus has given and shown Paul the wonders of Gods’ mercy, grace, faith and love! That’s why Paul has been appointed into service by Jesus, despite Paul’s past which included violence, blasphemy against God and persecuting the church – the body of whom Jesus is the head, the wisdom and guide!
This Jesus has made Paul clean and renewed him! This Jesus strengthens Paul to be in active service for God – and because of that we get most of the New Testament! The only reason Paul can do what he does, is because it is Jesus who has anointed and appointed him to God’s service, sustains, guides and protects him! This Jesus, who with inexhaustible patience uses Paul as an living testimony to help others come to follow, believe and receive Jesus Christ. This Jesus, whose purpose was to save sinners – such as Paul who confesses that he is the supreme example of a sinner – and give everlasting life. Lastly, Paul overflows with praise for Jesus, describing him as immortal, invisible and only God and giving Him alone the glory and honour! May that be so in your life, your church and in the life of the church worldwide!