“This ex-Pharisee” by Paul Barnett

“During his decade-long burst of energy he walked thousand of kilometers (almost thirty per day) across forbidding mountain ranges and through arid wastelands proclaiming the message of the crucified but risen Messiah. For preaching a message that was offensive to both Jews and Gentiles he was repeatedly and severely flogged, and on one occasion stoned. Virtually penniless, he labored throughout the night to earn money to preach by day.

This ex-Pharisee brought the message about Jesus the Christ to the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire, and wanted to repeat this achievement in the western province, Spain. Apart from Paul’s Herculean efforts, it is difficult to imagine how the gospel of Christ would have taken root so comprehensively in the Greco-Roman world.

Paul’s intrepid and energetic travels and tireless work, however, do not in themselves explain his achievements. Here we must understand that for Paul his relationship with Chris and his work for him were inseparable. He regarded all that he did as ‘the work of the Lord’ (1 Corinthians 15:58) that the risen Christ was doing ‘through’ his servant, Paul (Romans 15:18).”

–Paul Barnett, Paul: Missionary of Jesus (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008), 5-6.

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Filed under Church History, Missions, Paul, Quotable Quotes, The Church

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