In my last post on Galatians, I said that I thought Saul loved God and that this was speculation. As I continue to read Paul's testimony, he says that he was at the top of his class in Judaism and that he was intensely passionate for the traditions of his fathers. Paul was highly educated and extremely focused on Judaism. He studied under Gamaliel (Acts 5:34-35) who was the leader of the Pharisee Sanhedrin. Gamaliel was also a teacher of the law. Paul, or Saul as he was called at that time, apparently had wealthy Pharisee parents who bought Roman citizenship and then had him educated by the best teachers at the temple. Paul knew the law and his description of himself as being extremely zealous makes me think of the word "driven." His zealousness is why he was persecuting those who were following "the way of Jesus Christ" because he felt they were following false teachings. The Notorious Saul of Tarsus Saul of Tarsus was notorious for his pursuit of the followers of Jesus and he was very successful in capturing them. He must have been because Jesus himself descended from heaven and appeared to Saul on the road going to Damascus.
3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
5“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.
“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. 6“Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
7 The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. 8 Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. 9 For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything. Acts 9:3-9