A Jewish pharisee who denied the deity of Yeshua, the risen Christ, Saul was on the offensive against Christians throughout Judea. Saul was of the tribe of Benjamin, and he was born in Tarsus, a Grecian city. A tent maker by trade, Saul was the son of a Roman citizen.
“1 Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.” (Acts 9:1-2)
To continue his mission to persecute Christians, whom he considered misguided and on a way other than Yahweh’s, Saul asked of Theophilus, the Jewish high priest to provide him with a letter aimed at Jewish leaders in Damascus, the thriving city located approximately 140 miles northeast of Jerusalem. Such a commission from the Sanhedrin would empower Saul to pursue and imprison Christians in Damascus, one of the oldest cities known to man.
“3 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. 4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” 5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” (Acts 9:3-5)
The journey from Jerusalem to Damascus typically took six to seven days to complete. Then, Saul was surrounded by divine light, followed by the voice of the Lord asking Saul the reason for his venture against Jesus, whom Saul denied was the risen Christ. In His admonition of Saul, Jesus used an analogy that made reference to oxen kicking against their goads, spiked sticks used to lead an ox’s way.
“6 So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” 7 And the men who journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one.” (Acts 9:6-7)
Jesus’ plan for Saul was to lead him to apostleship, by having been in the Lord’s presence. To complete his conversion, Christ instructed Saul to continue his journey into the city of Damascus, where he would be guided by the Holy Spirit and told which steps were forthcoming.
“8 Then Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened he saw no one. But they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. 9 And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank.” (Acts 9:8-9)
Humbled, and blinded by the divine light exuded by the Lord, Saul had to be helped to Damascus where he waited for the fulfillment of the Lord’s promise. For days, Saul could not see, nor did he drink or eat. God’s plan for Saul was indeed perfect, though certainly filled with challenges, and obviously painful. But, much was to come for Saul… Let’s pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Luke,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre