When we look at the list of Bible characters that show us just how human they were, we see them during times of despair, times of praise and worship, and times of crushing failure (or so it seemed at the time). But, when we get to Paul, we find a man who was told by Jesus Himself why he had to suffer and how he was going to suffer. No other character was told why they had to suffer; that was something that was figured out during or after the situation they were placed in ended. Job wasn’t told why he had to suffer and that he would even survive the ordeal. But Paul was given great direction from Jesus about what he would face as he went about preaching the Gospel to the world. Paul knew that he would be facing the Gentiles. If the Jews themselves put Jesus, one of their own, to death then how much more or less would Paul fare when talking to those who despised the Jews outside of Israel? Yet, in all of the suffering he had to endure, Paul knew that he was given this mission by the Christ, the living and breathing Messiah. I believe that, since Jesus spared his life instead of exacting revenge on him for killing the Jewish believers, Paul was more than happy to spread the word that Jesus was indeed alive. Yes, Paul had to suffer greatly for the cause of Christ, but he did it for Christ simply because Jesus asked him to. If being able to meet Jesus in the flesh, in His shekinah glory, could spur Paul onto doing the work he was called to do not knowing where the road would lead him, or exactly in what ways he would have to suffer, how much more could we do the same if we allowed ourselves to let Jesus show us His shekinah glory in our own lives?
What can be said about Jesus as a witness for Himself? He was the Christ, the Messiah, the creator and chief architect of the human race. Who better to know how to witness to people that their creator who knows all hearts and that heart’s depth of sin and evil? Who, other than Jesus, knew just what to say to that certain heart that would turn it and its owner towards the one, true God in Heaven? Jesus was the Master of everything, since He created everything. Only the Creator could know His people so well as to come down from glory into the muck and mire of daily human life to show us the way home, and the way to bring others home with us. Jesus knew exactly what the Samaritan woman needed to hear to change her heart to accept the living water Jesus wanted to give her. And He knows exactly what we need to hear to change our hearts to match His for the lost. Paul heard from Jesus audibly and it turned his life around. We must allow Jesus to speak to us as well, so that we can witness as He did – with and open mind, and open heart, and an open mouth for the Holy Spirit to fill as we speak to the spiritually lost and show them the Hope of Heaven.