Jesus is dead! But the scourge remains, as His followers continue to promote His causes. Troubling to the authorities was that Jesus had declared Himself to be their liberator. Telling His followers that whatever they asked of Him, He would do it. What did they ask of Him? Did their questions have anything to do with undermining their authority? Or god forbid, did they ask to become the new ruling authorities?
Saul a Jew hated people who advocated an approach to God other than through Judaism. So he threaten all people who were ofÂ the Way. Making his intentions well known by circulating his determination to murder people of the Way if necessary.
This Way rebel had left behind a frightening unusualness about Himself. As He healed the sick, returned sanity to the insane, and brought to life those who had died. Took a few fish, and some bread, and feed several thousand people.
Very disturbing to the authorities was the Ways criticism of their religious observations. By declaring themselves to be followers of the rebel who made Himself equal to God. That rebel found fault with their legal system. There was a disturbing fearsomeness about Him. For they had heard that even raging sea waters at His command were no longer threatening. The Way followers had they been given the same powers as their founder possessed?
Perhaps of greatest concern to them was His declaration that the world that they knew and cherished would be abolished. How was this to be accomplished? A degree of urgency had settled upon them. Because they knew that He had told his closest associates that in His absences, He would send another as a replacement. And was this replacement in their presences now? And if so, would His replacement have even greater influence than the Forayer they had executed?
Speculation, and fear was over, it was time to eliminate this threat. Before the threat eliminated them. So the authorities assigned a prosecutor to destroy this Way movement. Word had spread that the prosecutor, who had Stephen stoned to death was out to get them. And, that he had gotten arrest warrants for them. And was on his way to Damascus to arrest them. To be brought back to Jerusalem to stand trial. They knew he’d go right to their synagogues making them easy prey for arrest. Should they flee and hide? No, they’d stand their ground and let come what would come.
Saul on his way to Damascus got the surprise of his life. Suddenly without warning a light from the heavens above completely engulfed him. Saul fell to the ground, and a voice said to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” So Saul asked, “Who are you?” The reply changed his life forever. “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.” What do you want from me? asked Saul. Jesus responded, “Get up, and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
Saul getting up from the ground discovered that had lost his eyesight. Shook to the very core were the men who had accompanied Saul on his journey. Frightened, and speechless because they had not seen anyone. They just heard a voice.
To be continued tomorrow.