Saul knew all about God. He had studied the Torah since childhood and was the equivalent of a PhD in religion.
Then God showed up. The account in Acts 9 reveals:
1 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.”
Saul’s first question is surprising yet insightful: “Who are you, Lord?” An authority on religion encountered God yet did not recognize him.
It is easy to point the finger at Saul and highlight his wrong view of God and persecution of early Christians. But we often find ourselves looking much like the pre-Paul Saul. How?
We learn about God yet fail to recognize when God is at work right before our eyes.
We see God act and question who he is, wondering what is happening rather than giving God glory for what has happened.
We encounter God in daily life only to doubt the experience as something natural rather than supernatural.
When we do, we respond as Saul did: “Who are you, Lord?” In Saul’s case, his eyesight was temporarily removed, forcing him to depend on others for help. Three days later, a Christian was sent to explain the good news of Jesus to Saul, restore his sight, and baptize him into the faith.
Saul eventually found the answer to his question. He left a legacy of changed lives, transforming writings, and an example many of us follow still in our time.
May we do the same, beginning today.
Dillon Burroughs is the author or co-author of numerous books and is handwriting a copy of the New Testament in 2011 at HolyWritProject.com. Find out more about Dillon at Facebook.com/readdB or readdB.com.