Grace turns a Christian-baiting, religious intoxicating Pharisee named Paul into a Christ-following, radical loving apostle. Galatians 1:23 puts it like this, “The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.”
After his Damascus Road experience, the apostle Paul sets out to tell the world about Jesus. He is beaten, ran out of town, and left on streets to die. He is mocked, ridiculed, and shouted down. He faces all kinds of persecutions. He is arrested. And even in his imprisonment, he finds ways to share the gospel of grace. Paul is put in chains. As a Roman citizen he demands a hearing from Caesar. In prisoner locks, he is now on his way to see the Emperor.
Before he is put on a boat to sail for Rome to stand before Caesar, the apostle Paul appears before King Agrippa and his wife. He starts out his message, “I myself was convinced that I ought to do many things against the name of Jesus of Nazareth” (Acts 26:9). Then he tells how he was met on the road to Damascus and Jesus transformed him into a passionate follower. And he ends by challenging the king to believe. This is after the king asks Paul if he has gone crazy. He says, “You are out of your mind, Paul” (Acts 26:24)!
When was the last time someone accused you for being out of your mind for loving Jesus? Francis Chan says, “Something is wrong when our lives make sense to unbelievers.”