“Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what to do.” Acts 9:6
Saul was a notorious persecutor of the followers of Christ. He was a descendant of Benjamin and a son of a Pharisee. History states that he began his persecution around the time of the stoning of Stephen. Saul had a severe distaste to anyone who was a believer of Christ. He would go into areas to locate early Church cells and arrested and persecuted early Christians. In this passage as well, we can see that Saul was getting ready to leave for Damascus after having obtained the equivalent of arrest warrants to capture and bring Christians back to Jerusalem for trial. Being of the priestly lineage, he thought he was doing what was right in his mind. Let us look at a few points and see how God is speaking to us.
Call for Attention: In order to get his attention to what he was doing wrong, Saul had to be knocked to the ground by a flash of light (verse 3). Sometimes we go through times in our lives where God must correct us. At times this may be subtle and other times more dramatic as in this case.
Call for Correction: Saul was addressed by his victim, Jesus who identified himself as the one who was being persecuted by Saul (verse 5). Here Jesus brought to light His oneness with His followers, persecuting a Christian was equal to persecuting Christ. We as believers need to remember and be comforted by the fact that we cannot be separated from Jesus. It was made known to Saul that he was not just hurting the individuals who proclaimed Christ, but Christ Himself.
Call for Action: Immediately after being tossed to the ground, Jesus orders Saul to get up and go to the city and await further instructions (verse 6). God did not reveal his entire plan for Saul, but Saul obeyed and was led to Damascus where he regained his sight and began his Christian ministry proclaiming Jesus as the Messiah (verse 20). God did not waste any time, the conversion was immediate.
Many times we go through our Christian life going through the paces and do what we believe to be right based on what we think or what we’ve been told over the years. This is how Saul was, he was the son of a priest and the teachings of the Jewish law were handed down to him. However, he did not cultivate his own relationship with his God. We can be like Saul sometimes, we may not be actively persecuting anyone, but we may be witnessing a God with whom we do not have an ongoing relationship. Having that relationship will help us be better for the calling and will of Christ for our lives.
Prayer: Thank You Jesus for making ourselves inseparable from you. Help us to grow our relationship in You so that we can be useful in showing others Your glory.., Amen.
Thought for the Day: Our actions are futile if our attention is not on Christ.
Dr. Joe M. George, Chicago Mar Thoma Church