In Acts, chapter 9, we see the conversion of Saul. At the beginning of the chapter, we see Saul breathing out murderous threats to Christ's followers. He received permission from the high priest to go and arrest anyone in Damascus that was following the way of Christ. His reputation for persecution of Christians had preceded him. As He was on the road to Damascus, the Word says that a bright light flashed around him and he fell to ground and a voice spoke to him and asked, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” Saul was like, “who are you?” The response was, "I am Jesus who you are persecuting. Get up and go into the city and you will be told what to do.” When Saul got up he was blind and had to be led into the city where he couldn’t see and did not eat or drink anything for 3 days. Then a follower of Jesus, Ananias, after being told in a vision, went to pray for Saul and his eyesight was restored. Saul then began to go and teach and preach about Jesus, convincing many that Jesus was truly the Messiah, the Son of God.
Why do you think that God chose Saul? What was it about him that caused Christ to literally STOP him in his tracks, cause him to be blind and redirect him from being a persecutor of Jesus to a committed follower of Christ? Saul of all people was the least likely to become a missionary to the early church. He was born a Jew, raised and educated in Jerusalem under Gamaliel, a highly respected Rabbi and Jewish scholar. Paul himself said in Philippians 3:4-6, “if anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more:
1. circumcised on the 8th day,
2. of the people of Israel,
3. of the tribe of Benjamin
4. a Hebrew of Hebrews
5. a Pharisee
6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church
7. as to righteousness under the law—blameless"
Why would God choose a man like Saul to represent Him? The scriptures say that God specifically chose Paul to proclaim the Gospel, mainly to the Gentiles, in Galatians 1:15-16.
As you read, perhaps you see that Paul was zealous! He was passionate and relentless! He was a force to be reckoned with. He was not to be denied! When Saul was confronted on the Damascus road and converted, God told him that while he thought he was persecuting men who were fighting against God, he was actually persecuting God! When God called his name, "Saul, Saul", he began to understand exactly who was speaking to him.
Saul was changed! He became a man who took all of his, Intelligence, all of his zeal, all of his passion, all of his energy to obey Jesus Christ’s command to go into all the world and preach the Gospel! It is an encouragement for us to look again at our salvation, our conversion, and use all that we are to tell others about our Savior.