When I was a little kid we had to move. As a result, I had to go to a new school. We all have been in situations where we’re the only stranger in the room. First day at a strange school is that kind of experience. I don’t know about you, but when I’m the only stranger I feel awkward. When I get introduced I usually hold back. I won’t reveal a whole lot about me, and if I do, I stick to the basics: name; where I’m from; favorite color.
What does God do when He is the stranger in the room? I have discovered that He acts similarly – which is not to say that God is shy. Mysterious He is though, and when He introduced Himself to me, He started with the basics like I did back in my schooldays. God 101 for me was something like this:
“Hi! My name is God. Pleased to meet you. By the way: I do exist!”
Yeah that was wild! What a revelation for a kid growing up in an agnostic household! God exists and He is actually pleased to meet me!
These were the things that went through my head as I read Paul’s letter to Titus. There was a time in his life when He thought he knew everything about God. He was set straight in a not so subtle way when he fell off his high horse near Damascus. That was quite the revelation for Paul when he laid eyes on Jesus for the first time. He looked at Him, but He didn’t know who He was. So he asked him (Acts 9:5):
“Who are you, lord?”
And the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting!”
Thinking he was doing God a favor, Paul had killed people left and right who were affiliated with Jesus. Now he was shocked to find out that he had been murdering God’s people. For days to follow Paul fell into a deep depression. He was without eyesight sitting in a room in Damascus refusing to eat or drink. Paul’s God 101 was similar to a reboot. Something like this:
Forget everything you thought you knew about God and start from scratch. You think you can see? Now you’re blind! You think you are a murderer and deserve to die? Here is some news for you:
“Hi my name is God and I am gracious! That’s why my Son Jesus came to extend a hand of mercy to you. You are forgiven. You get to start over.”
After three days of blindness a local believer named Ananias came into the room to pray for him. Paul regained his eyesight, and the rest is history.
Paul has seen God’s grace revealed, because that’s what God does. And He wants to reveal Himself to you too.