Paul begins by letting them know where he was born and that he was born a Jew. He also lets them know that he studied under Gamaliel. Gamaliel was called the “master” and “prince” and was the president of the Sanhedrin in the early part of the first century. Paul was therefore establishing his credentials. When you study under someone considered a “master,” your education will be considered beyond reproach. So Paul was making sure they knew where he came from, his provenance, and how he had gotten to where he was.
He mentioned how he had been knocked off his horse and heard the voice of God. With this occurrence, his whole life changed. He heard the voice of God, and when he clarified who this God was, he was given the name of Jesus.
This just goes to prove that the name of Jesus changes everything.
When did you first hear the name of Jesus in a way that changed everything? Was there a moment when you heard that name, and your life was never the same? Many people have this moment, and some people have a long and faithful journey toward God, and after years of proximity, the Holy Spirit moves Jesus into their hearts in a way that changes it all.
By Tim Gillespie
Why are we so afraid of things changing? It may be because we understand what we have to lose.
This was the same reaction we experienced in the One Project initially. People wanted us to stop, telling us that we weren’t Adventists anymore and that we were even doing something evil. It was shocking to us.
But more than that, it was telling. They understood that the name of Jesus changes everything if we take it seriously. And although Paul was lucky enough to be a Roman citizen, and therefore was not able to be tortured, although ultimately killed, we had to survive the slings and arrows coming from those in the church that did not want anything to be changed.
I will be forever grateful for hearing the name of Jesus in a way that changed my world. And I hope you will have the same experience when you hear the name of Jesus at just the right time. Like Paul, it may just knock you off your horse, but for sure it will send you to the ends of the earth to proclaim his name.
That moment that changed everything, when life moving forward would never be the same, happened for me alone in a tiny prayer space in a college dormitory's chapel. In the fall of 1970, after "years of proximity," my heart was opened through a Holy Spirit-infused revival at Andrews University. Hearing God speak through what was then a new-to-me paraphrase (The Living Bible) of Ephesians 3:14-19, God was real and Jesus became "more and more at home in (my) heart, living within (me) as I trust(ed) in him. . . " I still cannot read that passage without tears because it was the beginning of eternal LIFE for me. . .