by Derek Gitsham
"And last of all he was seen of me also,
as of one born out of due time." (I Cor. 15:8)
The Apostle Paul was not numbered among the
first and original Apostles. Yet he made the
claim along with them that he had seen the Lord.
In a previous chapter (9:1), he mentions again
that he had seen the Lord, in defense of his
apostleship to the Corinthians.
The reason for this was that they were questioning
his authority over them, so he needed to clarify
his position among them, and to give proof of his
Apostleship. In another reference he says that
the signs of an apostle were “wrought among you
in all patience, in signs and wonders and mighty
deeds” (II Corinthians 12:12).
The interesting thing to note here is that Paul had
never seen Jesus in the flesh, yet compares what had
happened to him on the Damascus Road as the same as
seeing Jesus in the flesh after He was risen from
the dead. All the references in I Corinthians 15
were to those who had seen Jesus raised from the dead,
but he also lists the names and includes a number of
five hundred who also had seen Him.
There were infallible proofs to Jesus being raised.
Right in the middle of all their claims, Paul says,
‘He was seen of me.’ This was obviously a spiritual
event, a light shining from heaven, and Jesus speaking
to Paul. The many who had seen Jesus alive after His
death became eyewitnesses to His Resurrection. Though
Paul includes himself among those chosen ones, his
personal encounter with Jesus was a special moment for
him. Jesus was now in the glory, at the right hand of
God, revealing Himself to Saul of Tarsus; an event that
would change him forever and save him.
Paul did not see just a resurrected Jesus, but an ascended
and glorified Jesus. Was not this an honour being bestowed
on him that was to greatly affect the whole Christian world
throughout the Church Age? To see Him in His glorified
state was indeed something Paul would never forget. Surely
the Holy Ghost comes to bear witness to and glorify Jesus.
May we seek to encounter the Risen and Glorified Christ
and may let Him be glorified in us all today.