by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (selected by Frank Cumbers)
The last becomes the first
... this is how [Paul] speaks: "Last of all He was seen of me also."... He was the last of the apostles to see the risen Lord.... They had all seen Him in different ways together. Paul was not with them then; he was a blasphemer and a persecutor at that time. So 'last of all' means the last of the apostles. But not only was he the last of the apostles, he was literally the last person of all persons to see the risen Lord. No one has ever seen the risen Lord with his naked eyes since the Apostle Paul saw Him on the road to Damascus ... he was the very last of all.... He was not like the others. The others had listened to the Lord's teaching, they had been with Him all along. They were with Him from the beginning and right through to the end. But Paul on the contrary had had a kind of unnatural, an ultimately spiritual birth; he has come, in some odd, strange way and—last of all.
That is what he says about himself. And of course he could only think of that with regret. He should have been in at the beginning, he had had the facilities, he had had the opportunities; but he had hated the gospel. He "verily" thought ... that [he] should do many things contrary to the Name of Jesus. ..." He regarded Him as a blasphemer.... There he was outside, but all the others were in. But—"last of all" and in this strange way, he came in.
How easy it would have been for him to have spent the rest of his life in vain regrets about the past! ... He did not spend the rest of his life sitting in a corner and saying: "I am the last to come in. Why did I do that? How could I have rejected Him ?" That is what the people suffering from spiritual depression do. But Paul did not. What struck him was the amazing grace that brought him in at all. And so he entered into the new life with tremendous zeal, and though "last of all" yet, in a sense, he became the
Spiritual Depression, pp. 84-5
“Text reproduced from ‘A First Book of Daily Readings’ by Martyn Lloyd-Jones, published by Epworth Press 1970 & 1977 © Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes. Used with permission.”
Comments on D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, A First Book of Daily Readings
"These gems of evangelical truth, biblically based, help the reader to understand this world in the light of the Word." —Church Herald
"Christ-honoring, thought-provoking discussions" —Presbyterian Journal
"Few daily devotional books offer as much substantial insight as this one." —Christian Bookseller
"...will help to either open or close your day." —Evangelize