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Acts 9:1-20(CEB)

 Meanwhile, Saul was still spewing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest, seeking letters to the synagogues in Damascus. If he found persons who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, these letters would authorize him to take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. During the journey, as he approached Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven encircled him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice asking him, “Saul, Saul, why are you harassing me?”

Saul asked, “Who are you, Lord?”

“I am Jesus, whom you are harassing,” came the reply. “Now get up and enter the city. You will be told what you must do.”

Those traveling with him stood there speechless; they heard the voice but saw no one. After they picked Saul up from the ground, he opened his eyes but he could not see. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind and neither ate nor drank anything.

10 In Damascus there was a certain disciple named Ananias. The Lord spoke to him in a vision, “Ananias!”

He answered, “Yes, Lord.”

11 The Lord instructed him, “Go to Judas’ house on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul. He is praying. 12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias enter and put his hands on him to restore his sight.”

13 Ananias countered, “Lord, I have heard many reports about this man. People say he has done horrible things to your holy people in Jerusalem. 14 He’s here with authority from the chief priests to arrest everyone who calls on your name.”

15 The Lord replied, “Go! This man is the agent I have chosen to carry my name before Gentiles, kings, and Israelites. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.”

17 Ananias went to the house. He placed his hands on Saul and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord sent me—Jesus, who appeared to you on the way as you were coming here. He sent me so that you could see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Instantly, flakes fell from Saul’s eyes and he could see again. He got up and was baptized. 19 After eating, he regained his strength.

He stayed with the disciples in Damascus for several days. 20 Right away, he began to preach about Jesus in the synagogues. “He is God’s Son,” he declared.


I have seen and experienced many times when a person had to change paths when they really did not want to:

                        Loss of a job and needing to move to another area.

                        Agreeing to a major surgery.

                        Too young or too old.

                        Handling death of a loved one.


                        Accepting a life changing illness.

When we experience these things sometimes we hang on preventing forward movement which can help us to achieve productive change. As human beings it is tempting to take the road that seems easiest because it meets our current desires. It is difficult to not feel negative emotions in these times and we learn that moving forward requires a process, time to heal, time to accept, time to open our hearts and minds.

The story of Saul being confronted by Jesus on the road to Damascus is one of the most dramatic pieces of New Testament scripture I could think of where the result was total and utter surrender. Many of us know the story but I wonder how many of us have thought about what it might have been like to go from an outrageous persecutor of the gospel of Christ to be an illustrious professor and preacher of it.

It is also interesting to wonder why Jesus chose an open road during the day and not a dream or in a church. Why at that particular time when Saul was on the road to pursue an edict that would have hurt the saints in Damascus? Clearly Jesus has many ways of delivering the Godly.        

by Clarence Beverage

For Pondering & Prayer

Saul began to preach about Jesus in the synagogues just days after his conversion declaring that Jesus was God’s son. Synagogue members plotted to kill Saul for this, but he was saved at that early time by those who believed he was earnest in his conversion. Do you think, as a believer in Christ, that you could surrender your fear and suspicion of Saul so quickly? Could it depend on whether you were there to see the light from heaven or perhaps observe his later actions and speech?

Later in time Saul left Damascus and went to Jerusalem to join the disciples but they were afraid of him. It was only by Barnabas telling the disciples of all Saul had preached and said that they were able to accept him. Eventually he went to Caesarea and Tarsus. At that time scripture says the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and grew in numbers through the power of the Holy Spirit. Do you think this story could be an example of how life changes and God is at work when we cannot first see it?        

Prayer: Lord God, we ask that, through the power of your Holy Spirit, you touch our lives in ways that help us to sense your presence and desire to feel connected. Forgive us for our sins and help us to accept the power you give us to make your world a better place. May we, through you, be people of peace and understanding. Amen