…as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw him.
The apostle Paul never met Jesus face to face when He was alive on the earth during His three and a half years of ministry. Jesus’ life was witnessed by many beginning with the group of shepherds who visited Him as a babe in a manger and climaxing with as many as 5000 men plus women and children who Jesus fed and ministered unto. Many, many people saw or experienced firsthand the miracle working power and loving presence of Jesus, God’s son, upon the earth. But, not the apostle Paul, who would have then been known as Saul.
However, after Jesus’ crucifixion, He rose from the dead, and presented Himself to many: Mary Magdeline, the eleven disciples, the two on the road to Emmaeus, and the 500 who stood amazed as Jesus ascended into the heavens. But, not the apostle Paul, still called Saul.
Before conversion, Saul went about persecuting any who declared the name of Jesus. Saul even stood by and held the coats of the men who murdered Stephen by stoning. Saul watched Stephen proclaim, “…I see [Jesus] standing on the right hand of God.” (Acts 7:55) As Stephen looked up into the heavens and saw Jesus, Saul, not yet Paul, did not.
Thank the Lord for He is good, and His mercy endures forever (Psalm 106). Finally, as Saul made his way to Damascus to bring charges against the Christians, he saw Jesus. Jesus appeared to Saul along the way, spoke to him, and changed his path forever. Saul took on a new character and a new name, Paul. Paul resells this life-altering encounter every opportunity he can. I especially love this particular phrase found in 1 Corinthians 15: “as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw Him.”
Paul may not have had the opportunity to walk with Jesus like the disciples. Paul was not there among the shepherds who found Jesus as a baby. Paul did not experience the fanfare of the wise men. Paul was not even present to witness Jesus crucified. None of that matters because Paul had a personal encounter with Jesus in his own time, and that experience reshaped Paul’s future.
You, too, can experience Jesus for yourself. It is His desire to dwell with you on a daily basis. You can see Him through the pages of His Word. You can see Him in the nature around you. You can see Him in the eyes of a loved one. You can see Him in the generosity and kindnesses of others. And, sometimes, when Jesus deems it necessary, Jesus reveals Himself to people in dreams, in person, or in spirit.
I encourage you to look for Jesus today.
Go to YouTube and listen to You are Holy, Oh so Holy by Christ for the Nations. It’s one of my favorite worship songs.