Then Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?”
Paul replied, “Short time or long—I pray God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.”
It is quite the statement Paul made. He would have the King and all in that courtroom ‘become what I am…’ Is this arrogance or is it Paul obeying Jesus’ commission (Matthew 28:18-20)? In another place Paul would write ‘follow me as I follow Christ’ (1 Corinthians 11:1). Wow! This is another shocking statement. Generally we deflect this kind of attention and point people to Jesus. We’re human. We’re frail… so follow Jesus, not me!
This is not arrogance by Paul. The thrust of the Great Commission is to ‘make disciples.’ That’s the imperative Jesus gives to His disciples. Only disciples can make disciples. In essence, we are to reproduce in others what we already are as followers of Christ. Follow me as I follow Jesus.
What about our brokenness and sin? If we’ve been discipled in Christ, our brokenness is also to be reproduced in others. How I am handling my weaknesses, temptations and sins needs to be reproduced in others if I am following Jesus. So follow my brokenness as I yield my life to Christ. Even Paul had a ‘thorn in the flesh’ (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). Should we follow a guy who isn’t perfect? Yes, because he’s following One who is.
Paul’s story of persecuting the church became a part of his task of making disciples. How he responded to Jesus was something for others to learn from. Most did not. The words of Jesus to Paul are powerful here…
I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’
As a disciple of Jesus Christ I am far from perfect, but others can follow me, learn from me and my imperfections, because I have crossed over from ‘darkness to light, from the power of Satan to God.’ I have received the forgiveness of my sins and am living in God’s grace. I pray that all who are listening to me today may become what I am…
Lord, I yield to the work You are doing in my heart today. I want those who follow me to be following You. So break me, build me, fill and use me today for Your purposes. All the glory and honor belong to You. You are awesome, mighty and worthy of my life.