Paul’s Vision of the Lord on the Way to Damascus
Paul used to persecute the Christians. During the stoning of Stephen, they laid their coats at the feet of Paul to show that he approved of his killing.
One day, Paul asked the priest for letters to synagogues in Damascus so that he can drag the Christian followers there as prisoners back to Jerusalem. On the way, a light shone around him from heaven. Paul heard a voice asking him why he persecute him. When Paul ask who was speaking, the voice replied that he is Jesus Christ.
After that, the Lord Jesus commanded him to go into the city of Damascus. The light blinded Paul so that he couldn’t see and the men traveling with him had to guide him. Paul did not eat or drink for 3 days while in Damascus.
God commanded Ananias to lay his hand on Paul. At first, Ananias refused because he heard many reports that Paul persecute the Christians. Later, Ananias agreed and he laid his hands on Paul so that his eyesight were restored. Paul felt something like scales fell off his eye .
Paul stayed in Damascus and preached the good news to the people. The people were astonished to see that Paul is preaching the good news because he used to persecute the Christians. When the Jews plotted to kill him, the followeres lowered him in a basket through a wall opening and he escaped to Jerusalem. While in Jerusalem, everyone was afraid of him but Barnabas spoke up and recounted the people how he seen a vision of the Lord during the journey and how he preached the good news in Damascus.
Paul’s First Missionary Journey
Paul and Barnabas in Cyprus
While in Cyprus, Paul and Barnabas met a Bar Jesus, a sorcerer and false prophet, who worked as an attendant to the proconsul, Sergius Paulus. The proconsul sent for Paula nd Barnabas to hear the good news. However, the sorcerer Elymas tried to turn the proconsul away from the faith. Paul rebuked Elymas so that he became blind for a while. When the proconsul saw this, he came to believe in Jesus Christ.
Paul and Barnabas in Asia Minor and Antioch
While in Pisidian Antioch, Paul entered into the synagogue and preached the good news to the people. He outlined the history of Israel, how God led the Israelite out from Egypt after they stayed there for 450 years, and gave them judges and David as their king. From the family line of David, God has brought the Messiah, Jesus Christ into the world.
Paul preached the free gift of the forgiveness of sins from God through having faith in Jesus Christ. After Paul finished speaking, the Gentiles believed but the Jewish leaders incited the high standing women and men to expel them from the region.
Paul and Barnabas in Iconium
While in Iconium, Paul and Barnabas entered into the synagogue and preached. A great number of Jews and Gentiles believed in the good news. However, the disbelieving Jews attempted to stir up the Gentiles about the followers. As a result, Paul and Barnabas had to stay there for a period of time. Paul also performed miracles to confirmed his message. Finally, the people plotted to mistreat and stone them so they had to escape to Lystra and Derbe.
Paul and Barnabas Regarded as Gods by the People in Lystra and Derbe
While in Lystra, Paul healed a man who was crippled from birth and he was able to walk. When the people saw what happened, they called Paul Hermes and Barnabas Zeus. The priest of Zeus brought bulls and wreaths to offer sacrifices to them.
When Paul and Barnabas learned about this, they tried to convine them that they are only human beings and persuade them to turn to God. However, they faced difficulties in addressing to the crowd. After that, some Jews from Antioch and Iconium dragged Paul outside the city and stoned him. Paul pretended to die but he got up when the disciples surrounded him.
Later, Paul and Barnabas return to Lystra, Iconium, Antioch and Syrian Antioch to strengthen the disciples so that they will stand firm in their faith.
Paul’s Second Missionary Journey
Paul and Silas in Asia Minor and Europe
While Paul was in Derbe, he met a man called Timothy and he wanted to take him as companion. He circumcised Timothy to avoid persecution from the Jews. They tried to enter into Mysia and Bithynia but the Holy Spirit wuold not allow them so they came to Troas. One night, Paul dreamed of a Macedonian man calling him over to Macedonia to help them. Macedonia is located in Europe.
Paul and Silas Set Free from Jail in Philippi
When Paul was in Phiippi, he and his companion went outside the city gte to preached the good news to the women gathered there. A woman called Lydia, a worshiper of God, was receptive to Paul’s message. She was a dealer of purple cloth in Thyatira. She and her entire household were baptized after Paul’s preaching.
Later, they came across a female slave that was possessed by the spirit of fortune telling. She would go around, proclaiming that Paul and his companions are serventa of God who come to tell them to be saved. It annoyed Paul so much that he rebuked the spirit in Jesus name and it left her immediately.
When her owners learned that they had lost their money making opportunities, they brought them to the magistrates. The magistrates ordered that they be beaten with rods. After they were flogged, they were put into prison. In midnight, Paul and Silas sang hymns to God and a violent earthquake shook the prison’s foundation so that all the prison doors open.
When the jailer saw this, he drew out his sowrd, wanting to kill himself but Paul stopped him. He told the jailer that everyone is still in the prison. The jailer came trembling before Paul, asking him, what he must do to get saved. Paul encouraged the iailer and his entire household to believe in Jesus and get baptized. Immediately, the jailer and his entire household were baptized. The jailer set a meal for them.
In daylight, the magistrates gave order for them to be released. However, Paul would not go unless the magistrates come to escort them out as they are Roman citizens. When the magistrates learned that they are Roman citizens, he came to escort them out. Paul and Silas went to stay at Lydia house after they came out of the prison.
Paul in Thessalonica
While in Thessalonica, a number of Jews and God fearing Greeks believed in the good news. Some Jews were jealous and stiired up a riot. They tried to capture Paul and Silas at Jason’s house. When they couldn;t find them, they capture Jasonn instead. Jason and the others had to post bond beforee they were set free.
Paul in Berea
Paul and Silas entered into the synagogue to preach the good news to the Jews. The Berean Jews were more noble than the Jews in Thessaloniaca. Many people believe in the message. The Jews in Thessalonica stirred up the crowds. This made the followeres sent Paul to Athens while Silas and Timothy stay there.
Paul in Athens
Paul was waiting for his companions to join him at Ethens. While in Athens, he found people offering sacrifices at an altars with the inscription with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Paul addressed the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers at the meeting of Areopagus. The people sneered at him when they learned that he was talking about the resurrection of the dead. However, some became followers including Dionysius, and a woman called Damaris.
Paul in Corinth
Paul met Aquila and his wife Priscilla in Corinth. He stayed at Corinth and worked with them since he is also a tentmaker. God appeared in a vision to Paul at night, encouring him to continue to preach the message and he will protect him. There was a learned man called Apollos who was enthusiastic in preaching the good news. However, he only know the baptism of John. When Prisculla and Aquilla learned about this, they explained the way more adequately to him. Later, Appolos went to Achaia to strengthen the believers there.
Paul in Ephesus
God did extra miracles through Paul in Ephesus. While in Ephesus, handkerchiefs and aprons were placed on the sick and they were cured of their illnesses and the evil spirits were also cast out. A riot occured while Paul was in Ephesus.
There was a silversmith called Demetrius who fashioned silver idols for the goddess Artemis. To protect his trade and prevent the temple of Artemis from being discredited, he stirred up the people and they seized Paul’s traveling companions including Gaius and Aristarchus. They shouted in unison “Great is Artemis” for 2 hours. However, the city clerk had to dismiss the crowd because there is no proper reason for bringing up charges on them.
When Paul arrived in Jerusalem, the brethren encouraged him to take four men to the temple and get circumcised along with them. This is to show the Jews that he is living in obedience to Moses law. Paul did according to what they say. When 7 days almost come to pass, the Jews from Asia saw Paul and accused him of teaching against the Moses law. They also accused him of bringing Greeks into the temple and defiling the place.
They dragged Paul out but the Roman troops quickly arrived and arrested him. Paul was taken into the barracks. He tried to address the crowd but they would not listen. They even tried to set ambush to kill him so they transferred him to Caesarea.
Paul appeared before Felix and Festus. He won his appeal to Caesar and set sail for Rome. During the journey to Rome, there was a violent storm and the ship wrecked. Fortunately, they managed to reach the shore of Malta safely. In Malta, a snake bit Paul but nothing happened because he believed in Jesus. Paul healed the father of Publius who was suffering from high fever. He also laid hands on many sick people and they were healed.
When they arrived in Rome, Paul was allowed to stay in his own rented house and preach to the people who come to him.
What Can We Learn from the Apostle Paul?
Paul was very stubborn before conversion. After the vision, he became a completely changed man. This shows that God can save anyone. Paul is humble. He always serve God with humility and put others first in his lives. He demonstrate the qualities of a good Christians so that he will become a good role model to others. He never grumble although he face a lot of problems and persecutions from others.
Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: (Acts 20:19 KJV)
Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you. (2 Corinthians 10:1 KJV)
With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love. (Ephesians 4:2 KJV)
Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. (Philippians 2:3 KJV)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-25 KJV)
But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work. (2 Timothy 2:20-21 KJV)