If God ever wrote a want ad, looking for an apostle, maybe it would include some of the qualifications below. That may seem like a silly idea, but it was a way to begin to appreciate the remarkable career of someone who changed the course of Christianity forever. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it years ago when I began to realize just what one person had accomplished and the extraordinary qualifications he brought to the work. Many have requested this after hearing it in talks, so I hope you enjoy. “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few…” (Matt. 9: 37). Indeed!
- Must have a practical trade whereby he can support himself and not be obligated to those he serves.
- Must be able to relate to and interact with all classes and types of people, from philosophers (Mars Hill) to tradesmen (Ephesus silversmiths and tentmakers), to politicians, government officials, women, wealthy, poor and slaves.
- Must have an ability and willingness for public speaking (including to crowds who don’t like the message) in an articulate, thoughtful, persuasive and heartfelt way.
- Must have a working knowledge of Hebrew and know the Scriptures about Me collected by my people, Israel, as well as understand the culture of the Temple and synagogue in which they worship.
- Must be able to speak and write Greek, the language that the educated Gentile world uses and understands.
- Must have demonstrated the ability to work in My vineyard, study My Law, be obedient to My teachings as best they understand them.
- Must be freeborn and have a passport, i.e. Roman citizenship, in order to move freely throughout My world,
- Must have significant spiritual receptivity, conviction, courage, and trust in Me, not himself or his own intellect or willpower.
- Must have enormous nurturing abilities to express patience, tenderness, and care for those who don’t always get it, who backslide, who need course correcting.
- Must have enough life experience that he isn’t fooled by the ways of the tempter, and is able to discern between My voice and that of the carnal mind
- Must have the faith and courage to hear My voice in the darkest hours, such as in prison, and to consistently stand against envy, ignorance, greed, and hatred.
- Must be on fire with the clarity and truth of the message I will provide along with indefatigable energy to walk, sail, or ride thousands of miles over three decades.
In short, ‘I’m looking for Saul of Tarsus who I will transform into Paul.’