The Gospel Conversations of Saul of Tarsus

Yesterday we looked at the possibility of scattering seed and helping people know Christ by having gospel conversations. You can look at that idea by clicking here.

New testament scholars point to the fact that the Apostle Paul received Christ on the road to Damascus after having experienced a number of conversations and events that drew him toward Christ. What would those conversations have been? While we can’t know those events and conversations definitively, we can take different New Testament texts to help us get a picture of Paul’s interactions and conversations.

First, most scholars believe Paul and Jesus were approximately the same age. We would strongly assume that they would have been in Jerusalem at the same time, particularly on feast days. It’s hard to imagine that anyone in Jerusalem didn’t have an understanding concerning Jesus. People like Paul may have been intrigued by His teaching and by the number of people who followed Him. You would also assume that all Pharisees like Paul would be concerned about Jesus’ teaching concerning the Law and Judaism. Therefore, Paul would’ve had a basic understanding of Jesus long before the road to Damascus.

Second, in addition to knowing about Jesus and His teachings, Paul would have interacted with a large number of the followers of Christ. Some of those followers were people Paul arrested or persecuted.  You would further assume that Paul would have been touched by people who were willing to suffer for what they believed to be the truth – – that Jesus had been raised from the dead.

Third, by the time Paul journeyed to Damascus scholars estimate that Jerusalem may have had more than 50,000 believers. These were people who trusted Christ and spoke openly of His resurrection from the dead. It would have been hard for anyone in Jerusalem not to hear about the widespread belief that the One who the officials crucified had been raised from the dead.

Finally, Paul was moved by the martyrdom of Stephen. Paul was there as Stephen died a martyr’s death. He would have heard Stephen saying that he saw Jesus at the right hand of God, and he would have heard Stephen asking God to forgive those assaulting him. 

You can see how all these events and conversations would have moved Saul to consider and meditate upon who Jesus was and what these people believed so fervently.

May you and I seek out gospel conversations, knowing that the Spirit of God will take our work and bring about salvation for those who are lost – – even people as far away from God as Saul the persecutor.

Each day I seek to write a post that will encourage believers to live out their faith. If you would like to be a part of this group, you can subscribe at waylonbailey.com or in the box below.

2 Comments


  1. Doug Driggers
    Oct 12, 2017

    Waylon,

    I have long suspected that Saul’s first encounter with Jesus was at the Temple when Jesus was twelve. Even if Saul did not see Jesus, he probably heard about Him. My only support is that this story was recounted by Luke.

    Doug


  2. Scot Martin
    Oct 17, 2017

    I agree. I believe we see Stephen’s influence throughout the rest of Paul’s life through his letters and testimony.

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I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. — Colossians 3:15 (NIV)