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Rediscover the Bible for Life
“The Damascus Road”
By Dennis Lee
Today we’ll be looking at the last road in our series, “A Journey to and from Easter.” And while each road may lead in different directions, they all have the same destination, Jesus Christ.
The same is true with this last road and the man who found himself traveling upon it. His name was Saul of Tarsus, and the road was the one leading to Damascus.
Saul was born a Jew, grew up as a Pharisee, but held Roman citizenship. And like the other religious leaders he probably expected that the enthusiasm and teachings that marked Jesus’ followers would soon die out with Jesus’ death.
But that didn’t happen, instead the believers’ enthusiasm grew, along with their numbers, and so Saul began persecuting Christians. It was at the stoning death of Stephen that we first see Saul as he held the garments of those throwing the stones.
Saul of Tarsus was a man full of vinegar, that is, full of hatred and bitterness. He was a man on a mission; but not a mission from God, nor a mission of mercy, rather it was a mission of punishment and pain.
He was on a mission to confront and get rid of all who followed Jesus, those that he described as belonging to “the Way.” In the Hebrew this means a person’s walk or manner of life. In other words, Christians, those of “The Way,” stood out in a crowd, or in whatever situation they found themselves in.
These first followers of Jesus walked the talk; they lived as Jesus would have. These first followers of Jesus Christ stood out. So it really wasn’t hard for Saul to find them. They literally left a trail of new believers in their wake.
Little did Saul know, however, that while on this road to Damascus he wouldn’t confront the followers of Jesus, rather Jesus would confront him.
And although he was not willing to change, he would be changed in ways greater then he could ever possibly imagine, and that he wouldn’t challenge the beliefs of Christians, but rather have his own beliefs challenged.
So this Damascus road is a road of confrontation, change, and challenge.
Today there are many who are walking down a similar road, a road that leads to destruction, a road of drug and alcohol addiction, crime, hatred, bitterness, greed, lust, and sexual immorality.
In the same way He confronted Saul, Jesus wants to confront us with the light of His truth, His presence, and His desire is for us to quit kicking against the leadings of the Holy Spirit and come into the fullness of His light and presence.
What have you been fighting God about? What has the Lord been saying to you that you’ve been turning a deaf ear too and hardening your heart about?
We have all done some really stupid things in this life, but God still extends to us His grace and mercy. In fact, God’s grace and mercy are new to us each and every morning.
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