Paul was a really important person among the first Friends of Jesus. He wrote many books about being a Christian which are found in the Bible. He travelled all over the ancient world telling people about Jesus. No other person wrote more of the New Testament than Paul, told more people about Jesus, or started more churches!
But it wasn’t always like this. Paul began life called ‘Saul’. He hated the friends of Jesus, and did his best to stop them telling other people about Jesus. He got them thrown in jail and forced many to run away to other cities. One day he went after the Christians who had gone to Damascus, the capital of Syria. On the way he had an amazing experience – he was blinded by a bright light and heard a voice which told him that what he was doing was wrong, and where to find help. His life started again in a completely new way, and he gave himself a new name, Paul, to celebrate the fact that he had now become a friend of Jesus!
After this there was no stopping Paul. He went on three long trips, by land and sea, to tell anyone who would listen about Jesus. Paul wanted everyone to hear the good news that Jesus loves them – old and young, men and women, every race, religion, nationality – no-one was left out when Paul was speaking!
Finally he was arrested, and sent to the Emperor in Rome for trial. We think he died in Rome, but he never lost his enthusiasm for telling the truth about Jesus. In 2 Timothy 4:7 Paul wrote these words about himself, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.” (New Living Translation)