Continuing from yesterday, this is Part Two of Saul’s story. Up until now, he has described to us his life before he met Christ. Now, he is describing that turning point in his life when he meets Christ. It was such a complete transformation that God would lead him to change his name to Paul.
Saul had been persecuting his fellow Jews who were followers of Jesus only in Jerusalem. But now he wanted to take his persecution on the road. So, he decided to go north to Damascus, to what is now modern day Syria. There, he would find more Jewish followers of Jesus, persecute them, bring them back, and have them imprisoned. Now, take a minute to read today’s Scripture again before continuing to read the devotion.
What happened? Here was Saul, upholding traditional Judaism, on his way to persecute followers of the Way, when all of the sudden, Jesus Himself confronted him from heaven! Christ said, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” And believe me. He had no doubt that this was the Lord talking to him. Imagine the conviction of sin that began to come over Paul as he realized the things he had been doing were not only bad, they were evil in the eyes of God. Read what Paul said in verse 9:
“And those who were with me saw the light, to be sure, but did not understand the voice of the One who was speaking to me. And I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, ‘Get up and go on into Damascus, and there you will be told of all that has been appointed for you to do.’ But since I could not see because of the brightness of that light, I was led by the hand by those who were with me and came into Damascus.”
Here was this zealot who had been charging to Damascus, along with those who were with him. And now pitifully and humbly, he has to be led by the hand, because he was literally struck blind by the Light of Christ. Imagine the turmoil going on inside of him. Realizing he had been wrong about everything, this is where the beginning of repentant faith takes place. Until a person is convicted of their sinfulness compared to Jesus Christ, we never really understand the second part of the life story. This was Part Two of Paul’s story. By the grace of God, he had been called to follow Jesus who gave him this second chance. It was God’s plan that was about to be fulfilled in Paul’s life. And He wants to fulfill His plan in your life, too. Stay tuned one more day, as we continue into Part Three of Paul’s life.