You know what? I think I’ll keep this series going until Pentecost Sunday.
We are finally all caught up, and here is this morning’s post:
“Acts 9:4-5: ‘He (Saul) fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, why do you persecute me?” He (Saul) asked, “Who are you, Lord?” The reply was, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.” ‘
Saul is a devout Jew who is persecuting the Jews who believe in Jesus, because they have departed from the true faith. However, on his way to Damascus, a Syrian city with many believers, he has an encounter that Jesus that knocks him off of his bestial mode of transportation and blinds him with a bright light. Jesus asks, ‘Why are you persecuting ME?’
Clearly, Saul isn’t actually persecuting Jesus, but by persecuting those who believe in Him, he is. I believe this is the first allusion to the body of Christ in the Bible–that is, of believers being the body of Christ. This is why by persecuting the believers, Saul can be persecuting Jesus.
On another level, this can also be a continuation of Matthew 23:37 (Luke 13:34), where Jesus says, ‘O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me.’
What if those early believers were God’s prophetic messengers? They had to be, especially if the Great Commission were to be fulfilled–to go throughout the world and make disciples of all nations. By persecuting the believers, Saul is continuing the tradition of killing those sent to speak God’s truth into the world.”