Saul watched as Stephen was stoned and became an adamant persecutor of followers of the Way. Then he encountered Jesus in a dramatic manner on the road to Damascus. Saul was changed forever.
God’s Chosen One
I think it’s notable that the Lord told Ananias why he must go to Saul “This man is a [deliberately] chosen instrument of Mine to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; for I will make clear to him how much he must suffer and endure for My name’s sake” (Acts 9:15,16 Amplified).
Saul’s proclamation reveals great insight.“The one who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I could preach him among the Gentiles” (Gal 1:15,16a New English Bible).
Boldly Speaking of Christ
Saul escaped from Damascus, when some of the Jews plotted to kill him. He went to Jerusalem to meet with Jewish believers [and explain how changed he was], but they were afraid of him.
In Jerusalem, Barnabas became an advocate for Saul and took him to the apostles. He described Saul’s encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus and how Saul had preached boldly in Damascus in the name of Jesus.
So Saul stayed with the apostles and moved freely in Jerusalem also speaking boldly in the name of Jesus. But some Hellenistic Jews disagreed and threatened to kill Saul. But when the brethren learned of it, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him away to Tarsus (Acts 9:30 NASB). He did not stop speaking boldly of Christ.
Saul was changed forever.
Prayer: Father, help me fulfill the purpose you have for me. I want to take each step you have for me.
Questions: How were you changed when you accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior?