In the heart of New York City at the Grand Central Station there exists a man who stands upon an old fashioned wooden soap box. His face is still yet tender, his hands smooth and free from the veins that come from age. Even his clothes are slightly vintaged even though that style is trendy in today’s fashion.
But his words aren’t trendy. And perhaps to some they are old fashioned. With a well-worn bible in his hand, he stands and shouts the Lord’s Decree for any and all to hear. Whether one agrees with his tactic or even agrees with his message, one can’t take away his witness at what Jesus has done in his life.
To testify. What a richly layered word. Its origin is from the Latin word testis which means to witness. And when we encounter the one true living God, we are called to testify- witness- to others how our lives have changed.
In truth, we are a people created to believe in action before words. God created us this very way, so, perhaps that is why He fulfilled the greatest of action by having His very own flesh strung on a cross. To show us, the people, that He is serious when He say’s that He loves us. He knew we would respond to action before we would respond to well meaning words.
The Apostle Paul was originally known as Saul of Tarsus. Paul took advantage of his status as both a Jew and a Roman citizen to minister to both Jewish and Roman audiences. But before Paul’s conversion, he was passionate about the persecution and slaughter of the early converts to Christianity. It was while he was travelling to Damascus that he encountered the resurrected Jesus who caused him to go blind for three days time. His sight was restored when Jesus sent Ananias of Damascus to heal Paul by laying his hands upon him causing the scales of dead tissue fell off his eyes. Ananias was sent to not only heal Paul but give him instruction in the way of the Lord. Paul would become one of the greatest leaders of the Christian faith who wrote most of the New Testament in the Bible.
Paul’s encounter with Jesus upon the dusty trail from Jerusalem to Damascus was his greatest starting point and epicenter of of his faith. And the witness he became for the Kingdom of God would not only change his life but the lives of millions of souls over centuries of time. One of the greatest lessons we can learn from Paul’s testimony is the truth that one person can change the course of the world by being a willing witness to the power of Christ.