“And when (God) decided to reveal his Son to me, so that I might preach the Good News about him to the Gentiles, I did not go to anyone for advice”.
Gal 1:15, 16 GNB
Shakespeare famously said “Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon ’em”. Paul knew that God had called him to a special mission. It is almost certain that no one else in the early Christian church could have undertaken the task of spreading the good news about Jesus to the Gentile world if there had been no Paul. The Jews held a very low opinion of Gentiles. It was partly theological and partly ignorance. Although the Jewish communities outside Israel welcomed Gentiles as adherents to the Jewish faith, they were never going to be leaders or creative participants in the body of the Jewish faith. The greatness thrust upon Paul was the combination of personal gifts, historic circumstances and the intervention of God in his life. These all combined to shape his destiny – and the future of the Christian church. The development of Christianity in the Roman Empire together with its “marriage” with Greek culture led to the emergence of much of the Western world as we know it today. And Christianity would never have developed far outside of Israel if Paul had not ventured to Asia Minor and Europe. Some seventeen centuries were to elapse before the modern missionary movement took the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the world. And it all began when God revealed to Paul his purpose for his life.
Today the call is to move out again, beyond the comfortable confines of the Christian church, and to bring the presence of Jesus to the wider secular world.
PRAYER THOUGHT Lord, help us always to be looking outwards.