Monday

“And immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, ‘He is the Son of God.’” (v. 20)

Acts 9:1-20 Monday 4 May 2015

Psalm: Psalm 149:1-5


Background

At the end of Acts 7and beginning of chapter 8 we are told of a young man namedSaul who approved of the stoning of Stephen. We now meet him againand he is still "threats and murder against the disciples of theLord"(v. 1). His plan was to go to the city of Damascus withauthority from the high priest Caiaphas, to bring back and imprisonany followers of "the Way" (v. 2).

Damascus was about 135 miles to the north east ofJerusalem and on a trade route between Egypt and Mesopotamia. Ithad a large Jewish population and a number of synagogues, and Saulwanted to try and stop the spread of "the Way" as soon as hecould.

As Saul draws close to Damascus he is stopped inhis tracks by a bright light and a heavenly voice. This is Saul's'conversion' experience, though we may ask what exactly thisconversion was from and to. Saul believed in the God of Abraham,Isaac and Jacob - that is without question. His mission to stop theJewish sect called 'the Way' was in order to stop it spreading arumour that he perceived at that time to be wrong.

When he meets Jesus on the road he is notconverted from Judaism to Christianity, but rather his faith isrealigned. He now sees Jesus as the Son of God. Where we do see aconversion in Saul is in his character. He is no longer themurderous campaigner but becomes a faithful apostle enduringpersecution and imprisonment for the good news he receives on theroad to Damascus.

The final verses leave us with Saul proclaiminghis realigned faith in the very places he was going to try anderadicate it. The entire story has been converted from one ofimprisonment and persecution to that of proclamation of Jesus asthe Son of God.


To Ponder

  • God continues to reveal to us the truth. When have been thetimes where you have had your faith realigned? What happened?
  • Saul's conversion is dramatic, the original 'Damascus RoadExperience'. What has been your experience of God? Have you everhad a moment sudden experience of God or has your experience theydeveloped over a longer period of time?
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