I am a Jew, born in Tarsas of Cilcia, but brought up in this city
Under Gamaliel I was thoroughly trained in the law of our fathers and was just as zealous for God as any of you are today
Saul’s father probably considered the best place for the continued education for his gifted son and set his sights on Jerusalem, the homeland – the fountain of Jewish learning.
Just decades before Saul’s visit, Herod the Great sought the favor of the Jews by rebuilding the temple and the entire city of Jerusalem. Inside the gates of the city were a large theater, a palace, an amphitheater, a hippodrome for horse and chariot races, and imposing fortified towers.
Herod’s temple was huge, and richly ornamented. Young Saul witnessed one of the most magnificent buildings in the entire world.
From a prison cell in Ephesus, Paul wrote that Christ had broken down the wall that separates Jew and Gentile. He was not just referring to any wall but the imposing structure he had faced on the temple grounds many years before.
He read Greek and Latin and had no trouble reading the notices on the middle wall that forbade any heathen to enter the sanctuaries of the house of God
In later years he wrote:
For he is our peace, who hath made both Jew and Gentile one, and had broken down the middle wall of partition between us.
He had a seat in the most important classroom in the Jewish world. Gamaliel , his teacher continues to be highly respected and the Jews called him ‘the beauty of the Law’
All of Saul’s religious training would be parts of God’s ornate plan. God would use what Saul learned at the feet of Gamaliel. In Acts 5:27-42 we see a sample of Gamaliel’s teaching.
The Jewish officials wanted to put the Apostles to death, but Gamaliel said:
Leave these men alone, let the go.For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men. You will only find yourselves fighting against God.
Saul spent 5 of the most critical years of his life in Jerusalem. He became a teacher. The son of a Pharisee became a Pharisee.
Just as Paul was educated, we too need to read and study the Word of God. The Word should increase our love for God.
Next we’ll take a look at more of Saul’s travels .
‘On Ya’ - ma