Jesus encountered Paul speaking to him personally. What did Paul do to merit this revelation of Jesus? Was God pleased with Paul because he was such a good person? Paul says he actually did things to disqualify him from God’s blessings. When Jesus encountered Paul personally, he wasn’t seeking Jesus. He was rather trying hard to wipe out Jesus’ followers because he hated the name of Jesus. Paul considered himself the very worst of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15). As we listen to Paul in other places, we see that he considered himself the worst of sinners because of his hatred for Jesus and his persecution of the church. When Jesus met him, he said to Paul, Why are you persecuting ME? In Paul’s eyes, this made him the worst of sinners. And yet, Jesus met him showing his love and turning his life around.
Having described himself as the worst of sinners, Paul says Jesus showed his immense patience to him as an example to the rest of us (1 Timothy 1:16). As we see Jesus showing undeserved love and patience towards “the worst of sinners” we know that he shows the same undeserved kindness to the rest of us.
The Spirit of Jesus reveals Jesus to us even though not one of us deserves to know him. For the Spirit loves to show Jesus’ face smiling upon us. And through that smiling face, the Spirit shows us Jesus’ gracious heart. So we rejoice in seeing the glory of God in the face of Jesus transforming us into his own likeness.