Paul, an Apostle of Jesus

Later this week I’m speaking at the Christian Alliance International School (CAIS) of Hong Kong for their Spiritual Emphasis Week. I’m pretty excited since it’ll be the first time I get to speak and preach about Jesus at another international school outside of ICS.

(Seemingly random transition…)

Since I became a Christian, I’ve learned quite a bit about Paul and his life. One of my favorite letters from him was, and still is, Romans. Jesus is my favorite all-time person and character from the Bible (hands down!), but Paul really knows how to speak to the heart of person that is attempting to be Christ-like. I really enjoy the way he doesn’t hold back and just gets in your face about following Jesus.

Anyway, the topic I’m speaking about this Thursday is the life of Paul.

(Aha! Not a random transition anymore!)

In preparation for my talk, I had the joy of studying his life in more detail for about two hours today. It was great, and I definitely know a lot more about the finer details of his life. The best part though was that I know how I want to present his life to the students at CAIS. Paul seems like such a hero of the faith that he can be unapproachable. On the contrary, I found that he is quite relatable. I’m going to present these facts to the kids.
Here’s a snippet if your curious…
He’s seemingly unapproachable:
  • Arguably the greatest missionary in the history of Christianity
  • One of the top-most students and scholars of Judaism; an elite Pharisee
  • Literally saw God
  • Experienced and performed numerous miracles
  • Suffered for the faith more than most (see 2 Corinthians 11:24-28)
  • Wrote between 7 and 14 books of the New Testament (depending on whom you speak with)

Paul is relatable:

  • He was a sinner. He even claimed to be the chief of all sinners! (see 1 Timothy 1:12-17)
  • He was both a white-collar & blue-collar worker (Pharisee and tentmaker)
  • Not very handsome (perhaps because of all the beatings!)
  • He had arguments and disagreements with those he loved – Barnabas and John Mark
  • Though he toiled in his work, he needed time to rest and recuperate and had longs stays in some places during his missionary journeys (such as Corinth and Ephesus)
  • He was a third culture kid (born in Tarsus, citizen of Rome, raised in Jerusalem, traveled the Mediterranean and Asia Minor)

I’m excited to elaborate on all this for the kids. I’m sure Paul never wanted fame or acknowledgement. He achieved success because he was sold out for Jesus – It’s only when we put ourselves aside that Christ can use us and raise us up. My goal is for the students to want to strive to be like Christ just as Paul did. But above all, I want them to know that God loves us, no matter what successes or failures we accrue on our paths.