“A Man Named Saul”
By Pastor Jerry Donovan
Saul was a pharisee in Jerusalem who persecuted Christians to the point of death by binding both men and women and putting them in prison. Saul was so good at his job that he drove all the Christians except the Apostles out of Jerusalem. Damascus was a major city in Israel where many had fled to. Saul received permission from the high priests to arrest them and bring them back for trial in Jerusalem. So, Saul rounded up a posse, and began a 6 day journey to Damascus ready for confrontation with the enemy of the Law of Moses. Still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of Jesus.
Saul was on his way to do the Will of God as he traveled to Damascus. At least what he thought was God’s will. Suddenly a blinding flash of light knocked him off his high horse. God showed up and interrupted Saul’s plans. God knows how to get your attention
For three days Saul was blind, and that gave him time to focus on the things that God wanted him to do. It gave him time to think about his life, to repent and learn to depend on God’s voice and leading in his life.
Sometimes God must lead us into a blind corner and take away our ability to do anything before we will stop long enough, and listen close enough to hear His voice. There are people that before accepting change, God may have to strike blind or bring terrible adversity in their lives.
Paul was spiritually blind and Christ had to physically blind him in order to get his attention and I wonder what more does Christ have to do to get our attention.
The Lord spoke to a man named Ananias in a vision saying,”I want you to go to Saul. Right now he is praying and seeing a man named Ananias come to him and help him restore his sight…Go. I will use him to speak before Jews and Gentiles and kings and he will suffer much for my sake.”
Ananias is obedient, and it says that something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes. He is filled with the Holy Spirit and is baptized. He has been physically and spiritually blind and now he can see! The fire breathing dragon of the devil from Jerusalem, bent on destruction of Jesus’ disciples, had now begun to breathe the fire of the gospel from his lips to convert his race.
Saul’s name was changed to Paul and he received the greatest commission and calling a person could receive. He was called to preach the gospel to the Gentiles. The rest of Paul’s life is history. This man who had once persecuted Jesus became the greatest missionary who ever lived and his life has touched the life of every person since that day.
If God could redeem Saul of Tarsus, a man dedicated to destroying those who followed Jesus, turning him into the great apostle that he was, then there is hope for our lost loved ones. We cannot afford to stop until everyone on the face of the earth recognizes just how loving and powerful God is!