Divine Revelation

Galatians 1: 12

For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

The Apostle Paul did not have the advantage of walking with Christ the way Peter and John did. That is one of the reasons he is so important to modern theology and thought. Like us, everything Paul learned, he had to learn by revelation from Christ. 

Don’t get me wrong though. I am not saying that we can’t and don’t learn from the teachings of other people. We can receive revelation through other people and we receive revelation through the scriptures. Paul was well steeped in scripture himself having been trained at the most preeminent school available. However, he also knew how to get alone with Jesus in the spirit and receive divine revelation from him. 

Paul tells us in today’s passage that what he taught he received directly from Jesus as a divine revelation. Paul’s training taught him how to meditate in the scriptures and how to connect with the divine source. If you look at Paul’s teachings you will see that he often quoted Old Testament Scripture. My take on this is that He would pray and meditate on the scriptures. He would quiet his soul as we can observe David doing through the Psalms. In this quiet, meditative state, Paul connected with Jesus in the spiritual realm. Jesus taught him about the Kingdom of God; where it is, how it operates, and how we function in it. Then Paul must have lined these teachings up with scripture to make sure that what he received by divine revelation was consistent with what God spoke throughout the generations. This is the reason that Paul tied his teachings back to the Old Testament. Those old teachings were anchors for the revelation he received through his direct connection with Christ.

Paul’s experience is an exact model for us today. We do not get to walk in the flesh with Jesus either. However, Jesus is just as alive and just as real today and to us as he was to Paul in his time. We also need to receive divine revelation because we cannot sit at the campfire and ask him questions. We have two hindrances though; time and knowledge of the scriptures.

After Paul had his Damascus road experience he went away to the desert of Arabia to be alone. His whole theology, all of his education and training had been turned upside down by his spiritual encounter. He needed answers so he went to the desert to meditate and to be alone with Christ. Jesus met him in the quiet of his solitude and Jesus revealed himself to Paul. 

I am suggesting that we all need Jesus speaking into our lives. It is through the quiet, contemplative time spent with Jesus that we discover the bread of life. While not ignoring scriptures, we all need to connect with Jesus in the way that Paul did. In that connection is revelation for our lives.