Day 13 - Concord Student Journey
Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.
“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. 6 “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
7 The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. 8 Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. 9 For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.
10 In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!”
“Yes, Lord,” he answered.
11 The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. 12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”
13 “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. 14 And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”
15 But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”
17 Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, 19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength.
Today, I want to share with you a powerful story from Acts chapter 9:1-19. This story is about a man named Saul, who was known for persecuting and arresting Christians. One day, while on his way to Damascus to arrest more Christians, he had a life-changing encounter with Jesus.
Suddenly, a bright light shone around him and he heard a voice saying, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?" Saul replied, "Who are you, Lord?" And the voice said, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do."
Saul was blinded by the encounter and had to be led by his companions into Damascus. There, a man named Ananias came to him and prayed for him to receive his sight. In that moment, Saul's life was transformed. He became a follower of Jesus and began preaching the gospel to others.
This story reminds us that no one is beyond the reach of God's grace. Saul was a notorious persecutor of Christians, but God saw something in him that could be transformed. And through his encounter with Jesus, Saul became one of the greatest apostles of the early church.
So, what can we learn from this story? Here are two reflection questions for you to consider:
Have you ever felt like you were too far gone for God to save you? How does Saul's story give you hope that God can transform even the most unlikely people?
Are there people in your life who you have written off as too far gone? How can Saul's story inspire you to pray for them and believe that God can work in their lives?
Let us always remember that God's grace is powerful and transformative. May we never give up on ourselves or others, but instead trust in God's ability to transform us into the people he has created us to be.