Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” – Acts 9:4-6 NKJV
Such an important time in the history of the church. The greatest Christian, outside of Jesus Christ, was called to his CALLING on that road to Damascus. There is so much meaning, so many gems in this little piece of scripture and this ‘section’ of the Word! Here was SAUL, a righteous, religious man, a keeper of the law- and He was out fighting the good fight, defending God against the heretical people of ‘The Way’. The Jews had tradition and the law, and all the rules to follow that made him a good Jew and thus a Holy Man of God. Though I myself could have such confidence. If anyone else thinks he has grounds for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin; a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, persecuting the church; as to righteousness in the law, faultless. (Philippians 3:4-6) Paul left Jerusalem ON FIRE, breathing righteous indignation about those who walked away from the RELIGION of Judaism, and began a personal relationship with the Savior of the World, Jesus, the Christ. But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. (Acts 9:1-2) Paul’s encounter with Jesus totally transformed His life, it changed his activities, it changed his schedule, it changed his beliefs, it changed how He walked from that day forward. He left Jerusalem, confident in his flesh, but he got to Damascus humble and in need of guidance. Saul rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. So they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. 9And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank. (Acts 9:8-9) Have you been changed? Do you want to be changed?
Leader, a few points to brighten our walk and help us as we continue to change the course of our lives. First of all, a real encounter with Jesus, will humble you! God hates pride, and self-righteousness. A true connection with Jesus will be humbling, He will bring you down to the proper position of looking up to Jesus; He is God, we are not! His will be done, not our will be done! We are called to be like Paul and to let Jesus be the guide, the pilot of our lives. We are all called to “Change our lives” from going on our own missions and working for our salvation to being about the Fathers business. To make His Purpose our purpose, and to continue the work of Jesus Christ which he told us; “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 4:18, Proverbs 24:11, Luke 19:10) It is so powerful the thought that Jesus asked Paul why do you persecute ME? This shows you that when people are attacking the Bible, or attacking believers, they are really attacking Jesus. He takes it personal! Jesus’ asked Paul, “Why do you persecute me?” We must remember the law of transitive principle. If A = B, and B= C, then A=C. The Bible is clear that Jesus is the Word of God. 1In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. (John 1:1-4)
Conduit, Jesus is the Word of God, The Bible itself is also called, “The Word of God”. Paul wrote that the Scriptures, the Bible are God breathed (2 Timothy 3:16). And according to Jesus, from Genesis all the way to Revelation, they reveal, glorify, and present Christ. You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, (John 5:39) Jesus is God’s autobiography in human flesh. The Bible is God’s autobiography in written form. From the earliest days of our faith, Jesus-followers have called Scripture, The written Word of God while calling Jesus the living Word of God- both are called THE WORD OF GOD. Jesus Himself called the Scriptures “the Word of God” in Mark 7:13. Based on the Transitive Principle; Jesus=The Bible. When someone attacks the Bible, they are attacking Jesus Himself; Jesus is the Word, the Word is the Bible; Jesus is the Bible! Saul was inferred a simple question, “Why are you kicking against the Goads?” A goad was a stick with a pointed piece of iron on its tip used to prod an animal to get them from being “off course” to prod them with the goad, “onto the right path”. Used specifically with oxen, for the process of plowing. The farmer would poke the animal with the goad, to cause the animal to readjust, to steer it in the right direction. Sometimes the animal would rebel by kicking out at the goad, and this would result in the goad being driven even further into its flesh. In other words, the more an ox rebelled, the more it suffered. Saul then responded with the proper response: Who are you Lord, and what would you have me do? “Stern discipline awaits him who leaves the path” (Proverbs 15:10). If we are a child of God, a child of LIGHT, then when we choose to disobey God, we become like the rebellious ox—driving the goad deeper and deeper. “The way of the unfaithful is hard” (Proverbs 13:15). How much better to heed God’s voice, to acknowledge Him and to seek HIS WAY. Today, I pray this is your desire! Father, whatever you are about today, please let me be a part of it. If you need to get my attention like you did Paul, I give you permission to shake my foundation, to goad me onto the narrow path that leads to an abundant life on this planet and for eternity. “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!” I give you permission to meet with me on my road to Damascus. Please rescue me from my religious ways, and lead me into an intimate personal relationship with your Son, my Savior and Lord, Jesus. Amen!