DO YOU know who that is lying on the ground? It is Saul. Remember, he’s the one who watched the coats for the men who stoned Stephen. Look at that bright light! What’s happening?
After Stephen is killed, Saul takes the lead in hunting for Jesus’ followers to hurt them. He goes into one house after another and drags them out and throws them into prison. Many of the disciples flee to other cities and begin to declare the “good news” there. But Saul goes to other cities to find Jesus’ followers. He is now on his way to Damascus. But, on the way, this is the amazing thing that happens:
Suddenly a light from the sky flashes around Saul. He falls to the ground, as we see here. Then a voice says: ‘Saul, Saul! Why are you hurting me?’ The men with Saul see the light and hear the sound of the voice, but they can’t understand what is being said.
‘Who are you, Lord?’ Saul asks.
‘I am Jesus, the one you are hurting,’ the voice says. Jesus says this because when Saul hurts Jesus’ followers, Jesus feels as if he is being hurt himself.
Saul now asks: ‘What shall I do, Lord?’
‘Get up and go into Damascus,’ Jesus says. ‘There you will be told what you must do.’ When Saul gets up and opens his eyes, he can’t see a thing. He is blind! So the men with him take him by the hand and lead him into Damascus.
Jesus now speaks to one of his disciples in Damascus, saying: ‘Get up, An·a·niʹas. Go to the street called Straight. At the house of Judas ask for a man named Saul. I have chosen him to be a special servant of mine.’
An·a·niʹas obeys. When he meets Saul, he lays his hands on him and says: ‘The Lord has sent me that you might see again and be filled with holy spirit.’ At once something that looks like scales falls from Saul’s eyes, and he is able to see again.
Saul is used in a mighty way to preach to people of many nations. He becomes known as the apostle Paul, whom we will learn a lot more about. But first, let’s see what God sends Peter to do.
Acts 8:1-4; 9:1-20; 22:6-16; 26:8-20.