As a new Christian, after he was baptized by Ananias, Saul spent days learning the ways of discipleship with other believers in Damascus, the affluent Greek metropolis and oldest city known to man.
Shortly thereafter, Saul began to preach the gospel and share the truth about the life, death and resurrection of the Christ throughout the region, and eventually returned to Damascus where he was persecuted by Jews, who plotted to kill him. Thankfully, Saul’s life was spared as disciples lowered him in a basket, out a window along the wall that surrounded the city.
“26 And when Saul had come to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, and did not believe that he was a disciple.” (Acts 9:26)
Three years after he left Jerusalem on a mission to destroy Christians in Damascus, on behalf of the Sanhedrin, Saul returned to the holy city a disciple of the Christ, the One who he set out to destroy years before. Even though Saul was born again of faith in the risen Messiah, because of his previous endeavors to persecute and execute Christians, when he arrived in Jerusalem he was rejected by the body as few knew of the change which took place in Saul’s life.
“27 But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. And he declared to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.” (Acts 9:27)
Like Saul, Barnabas was once a Hellenist, a Greek speaking Jew born outside Jerusalem. When the known disciple couched for Saul, they trusted his judgment and change their minds about the former pharisee and trusted his transformation was genuine. Then, Saul was invited to share his testimony and resulting ministry that ensued in Damascus and throughout Arabia.
“28 So he was with them at Jerusalem, coming in and going out.” (Acts 9:28)
Saul joined the apostles and disciples in advancing the truth about the resurrected Christ, preaching the gospel to the lost and encouraging those already in Christ to fulfill their divinely appointed mission to serve the Lord and bring glory to God almighty.
“29 And he spoke boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus and disputed against the Hellenists, but they attempted to kill him.” (Acts 9:29)
Just as in Damascus, Saul found himself under attack as he preached to Jews who denied the truth so avidly, they sought the disciple’s death to silence him, just as Saul did when he was a Hellenist pharisee.
“30 When the brethren found out, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him out to Tarsus.” (Acts 9:30)
To save Saul’s life, the disciples led him to Caesarea where he boarded a ship to Seleucia in Syria, then journeyed to Tarsus, his birth place where he continued to preach the gospel and convert seekers, fulfilling his mission as a servant of the Lord and preacher of the gospel of Jesus, the risen Christ. 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