17 I did not go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went into Arabia. Later I returned to Damascus.
18 Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Cephas[b] and stayed with him fifteen days. 19 I saw none of the other apostles—only James, the Lord’s brother. 20 I assure you before God that what I am writing you is no lie.
21 Then I went to Syria and Cilicia. 22 I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. 23 They only heard the report: “The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they praised God because of me.
Paul was converted and immediately begins a missionary journey. He does not feel the need to get the rubber stamp of approval from the Apostles. I find this a bit curious, as the Bible is clear about the fact that we should be submissive to leaders, but then again, how often does one's conversion come as a direct result of an encounter with Jesus?
I love the idea that Paul's conversion is a matter of public discussion. I liken it to the idea of a Richard Dawkins type becoming a Christian. C. S. Lewis comes to mind.
It also reminds me of Christ's teaching the he who is forgiven much loves much, and he who is forgiven little loves little.
Lord, help me see the depth of my salvation!