Saul Went His Way Until He Found the Way

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SAUL WENT “his way” UNTIL HE FOUND “THE WAY!” (Acts 9:1-9)

In some ways I think Acts chapter 8 took a detour in our Acts narrative, because Acts 9 seems to pick up where Acts 7 left off. In Acts 7 we have the story of the stoning of Stephen. Just before Stephen was stoned he accused his audience of being “stiff-necked, and uncircumcised in heart and ears” and he told them, “you do always resist the Holy Spirit” in the same manner as their forefathers did. He accused them of high treason against God Almighty by crucifying The Lord of Glory, and tells them they had rejected the very law they claimed to uphold. This was all they could take, and for that they stoned Stephen to death. I wouldn’t even mention this story again if it were not for the statement made in verse 58.

Acts 7:58 (AMP) Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him, and the witnesses placed their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. [Ac 22:20.]

This “young man named Saul” is the same Saul we now read about in Acts 9:1-9. This is the famous conversion story of the man most people know as the apostle Paul. Though Saul is his Hebrew name, and Paul is his Roman name, I think most will associate the name Saul as his years before Christ, and Paul with his years since coming to know Christ.

It is interesting too that when we think of the name Saul, were are usually thinking of someone big, and mighty and powerful, because the first famous Saul of the bible was all these things. The word Paul on the other hand means “little, small, or humble.” This sort of tells the story of the one most of us know as Paul. He was a big man in the religion of the Pharisees as he would testify quite well in Philippians 3:1-11. As Paul lists his credentials in Philippians 3 in his pre-conversion days he says he counted all those things “but dung” in order to know Christ. His “bigness” kept him from getting to know God in a real and personal way. When Paul came to know Christ he was humbled and became small.

In the passage I selected for today’s reading big Saul met his match when He encountered the Lord of Glory. Jesus spoke to Him out of heaven, and said to him, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou ME!” (Acts 9:4) making it quite clear that any time the church is being persecuted it is a direct assault against Jesus since the church is “his body” (Eph 1:22-23) and He is the Head of that mystical body (Col 1:18). When anyone messes with the body, the head gets insulted and takes personal offense to it.

Since Jesus is God He could have disposed of Saul right then and there, and would have had good reason to do so too. Jesus had a much better idea than conquering his enemy this way. Jesus conquered this enemy by making the one who was going “his way” to come over to God’s side, which was THE WAY, as the text so aptly says.

Acts 9:1-3 (ESV) But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest [2] 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. [3] Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. [4] And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”

Perhaps you too have been conquered by Christ in a manner like the apostle Paul and now you are the Lord’s chosen vessel too, to bear his name to those who do not yet know Him. If so, you like Paul are on the winning team, for one day every knee will bow to Christ and every tongue will confess Him to be Lord. It is much better to bow to Him now as Savior and Lord, rather than bow to Him later as your Judge, just before you are sentenced to that everlasting abode for all those who have chosen to live life here without Christ (2 Thess 1:7-10).

 

 

Acts 7:58 (AMP) Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him, and the witnesses placed their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. [Ac 22:20.]

 

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