“This letter is from Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, chosen by God to be an apostle and sent out to preach his Good News.” Romans 1:1
“The sky was clear blue. Paul’s memory is emphatic that there was no thunderstorm or violent wind, as some suggest who seek a natural explanation. He was not near a nervous breakdown or about to suffer an epileptic fit; not even especially in a hurry. Suddenly about midday, a great light flashed from the sky all around me…a light more brilliant than the sun, shining all around me and my traveling companions.
Paul and his other travelers all fell to the ground. They were appalled by the phenomenon, not just the flash but light, terrifying and inexplicable. Paul remained prostrate. For him only, the light grew in intensity.
He heard a voice, at once calm and authoritative, saying in Aramaic: ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?’ He looked up. Within the center of the light which blinded him from his surroundings, he faced a Man of about his own age, Paul could not believe what he heard and saw. All his convictions, intellect and training, his reputation, his self-respect, demanded that Jesus could not be alive. He replied, ‘Who are you Lord?’ He used a mode of address which might mean simply ‘Your honor.’ ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goad.’
Then Paul knew. In a second that seemed like an eternity, he saw the wounds on Jesus’ hands and feet, saw the face and knew that he had seen the Lord, that He was alive, as Stephen and the others had said, that He loved not only those whom Paul persecuted, but He loved Paul. It is hard to kick against the goad. Not one word of reproach.” (John Pollock)
This encounter on the road from Jerusalem to Damascus convinced Paul that Jesus was alive. And that changed everything. Jesus’ offer of divine forgiveness was real. Paul received it and bowed to the absolute lordship of this risen Savior. If we look at Paul’s back ground, we may say there is no way that Paul could be forgiven, but our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is in the forgiving business.
Today’s Bible Reading: Acts 9