Daily Truth Bible Study Acts 9: 22-43
In verses 9 – 21, we are shown the miraculous conversion of Saul (who will become known as Paul). The champion zealot of the Jewish faith who hated Christians and sought to imprison them is now a believer and follower of Jesus. This is truly miraculous yet it is no less miraculous when this conversion happens to us today. The same sovereign power of the same God continues to work.
So Saul becomes an immediate hero, right? Not exactly. We see that once regaining his strength physically and coming to grips with what has happened spiritually, Saul/Paul begins to confront and even confound the Jews while in Damascus. And so it would go. This would be the pattern of his life from this point on.
The text tells us that not only did Saul not make any friends of the Jews, after he was there for many days, they plotted to kill him. The Jews waited by the gates of the city at night seeking to kill him secretly. This brings to mind what Jesus told His disciples about how they would be hated because of their testimony of Him in Matthew 10:22, Mark 13:13, Luke 21:17, and John 15:18-19. Was there a problem with Saul/Paul’s technique? Well, yes and no. His technique as we will later find out was to tell the crystal-clear truth. We will come to find out that he spoke freely about Jesus being the Christ, the Son of the Living God, the Messiah, the One for whom Israel had been waiting.
His testimony is what caused the Jews to desire to kill him. Remember that Saul had been a very famous and well-respected Jewish zealot prior to his conversion. It is the fact that he converted to become a follower of Jesus that caused the extreme dislike of him. Also, remember that the eyes of unbelievers are blinded by Satan (2 Corinthians 4:4). They cannot see the truth and not only that, they hate the truth because it exposes their evil deeds (John 3:20).
Saul, all of the other Apostles, and ultimately all Christians who tell the truth about Jesus were/will be hated. That is a fact that cannot be refuted. Despite what is taught today about styles of delivery and technique or approach to ministry, once the truth comes out (if it ever does), some will respond to it but, sadly, most will reject it and even seek to silence it by silencing you.
This is not something that itching ears want to hear but it is the truth. We see this pattern work throughout the Bible as well as throughout history. Those who belong to Jesus and speak the truth will be persecuted.
Next time, we will see Saul/Paul briefly disappear from scripture and find out what is happening with Peter and the others in Jerusalem. Please join me next time as we continue this study.