Persecutor to preacher
As Saul is traveling to Damascus on persecution business, he is blinded by a light from heaven and he and the men with him hear a voice: “Saul, why are you persecuting me?” It’s Jesus!
Saul is rendered blind and, on Jesus’ instruction, stops in the nearby city to wait. After 3 days God sends a disciple to lay hands on Saul to restore his sight, to baptize him, and to impart the Holy Spirit. God says of Saul:
“This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.” v.15-16
Within days Saul was proclaiming Christ in the synagogues, and within days, the Jews were plotting to kill him! He escapes to Jerusalem but soon has to flee from there as well.
“Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord.” v.28
We hear more accounts of the miracles being performed on Peter’s travels – healing a lame man, and even raising a woman named Tabitha from the dead.
Let’s Talk About It
Maybe being blinded scared Saul straight! Maybe he was driven by the shock of finding out that he was on the wrong side of a war with God! Either way, his conviction led to complete surrender, repentance, and a compulsion to share the truth about Jesus. Many new believers have a similar experience of being lit on fire for God. Unfortunately, it’s often fleeting, and even more unfortunate, it’s expected to be temporary, a phase. This widespread expectation has begotten a general acceptance of lukewarm Christianity. Yet, lukewarm is unacceptable to God. See Revelation 3:16. Are you lukewarm? A commitment to community, prayer, and fasting are ways we can keep the fire burning.
God’s Purpose prevails
God said that Saul was his chosen instrument to preach to the Gentiles. Right after Saul was saved, he went straight to his brethren, attempting to convert the Jews, but he was ran out of both Damascus and Jerusalem, forcing him into Gentile territories.