A topic/question deserving more attention than a passing comment elsewhere: Why did the apostle Paul receive an invitation so unusual to see the risen Lord?
A common complaint shared by they who say ‘there is no God,’ or that the testimony of scripture is not credible, suggests God is somehow unfair in revealing Himself to one and not another. Any merit here with this gripe? The short answer is no, because He in fact reveals Himself to ALL generally, (through creation obviously) but specifically to others for distinct purposes, most of which, you and I would want no part of. (see link below and read some rather dark matter)
A brilliant intellectual, the most fastidious of Torah students. Renowned sitting under the great Reb Gamaliel. A Pharisee. A member of the tribe of Benjamin. Stood by in agreement at the stoning of Stephen. Yet in all this, he would be blinded (would you want that???) and sat for three days contemplating the law in its punishing weight, contrasted against the grace of God. So yeah, quite different than you.
Ever heard of Job? He was called too. Read his life and times, then tell me you missed out on not being harassed by family and friends, a time of intense misery and sickness, and to boot, having the devil chase you down. Or Daniel among lions? Samson with eyes gouged? How many examples do we need that prove we benefit from the trials of others without going through them ourselves? So we see Paul, once Saul from Tarsus, head and shoulders above all others.
He had no clue how low he would go after a personal visit, but let’s admit, he could have said ‘get lost, not interested.’
So chosen yes, for a mission, a purpose no one else would sign up for. Be honest. Would you? Read his own accounting of sleepless nights, without food, shipwreck, beatings, death threats, defending Genesis, Moses, the prophets, all with a view of promoting the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of Adam, and taking the word of God, writing it through his structured personality, without compromise, and in excruciating detail, unfolding the grace of God, which by the way, no mere mortal in his own strength, could possibly deliver, Indeed, he was given a commission others could never execute.
There would be no New Testament without Paul. There would be no understanding of HOW a man such as Saul, could do an about face and now as Paul, not only explain how, but WHY. According to the scriptures. His explanation of a seed planted in the ground is just marvelous in its demurity in proving there is another life yet to be. His mention of the heavens, where birds fly, and how men are the true giants of the earth, speaking of terrestrial and celestial, are sober thoughts for they who appreciate clear and deep thinking.
Paul, when he became an inductee into the grace of God, would live a life envious of none. I would be slow to moan that I wasn’t called this way. Also, in a court of law, no slick attorney could hold a candle against the analytical mind of Paul. From his articulation of creation, the law, redemption, adoption, love, grace, truth telling, nature, and of course common sense, he would clean every dirty clock where even the most ardent of judges must admit ‘here is a man above men,’ so yeah, Paul was chosen because God knew what he would do with the calling. Not very many alive who show fidelity to a cause not their own.
As a sidenote, with Saul/Paul, there was never a drop of ambiguity or caution regarding the very existence of God. And he knew God’s word was good. The exodus was fact. Pharaoh lived. Adam was actual. Abraham had a son, but there was a greater truth behind the sparing of Isaac. Paul said as much in the one of the world’s greatest documents, the book of Romans. Why Paul personally? Romans is reason enough.
The temporary setting aside of Israel and the filling of the Body, indeed, many more things were said as promised through the Lord’s own lips to the others, and Paul unfolded those MANY things. So we can easily see the timely words of ‘Rise and stand upon thy feet, for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose……………’ Read yourself Acts 26- Unfair then? Hmmm.