Saturday, March 17, 2012

Acts 9:3-4

Summary retelling of Acts 9: 3-4:

As Saul approaches Damascus, he is hit with an insanely bright light from the heavens.  The light was so intense that Saul fell to the ground.  That was the only defense that he could muster.  Out of the light, Jesus speaks to Saul.  Jesus asks Saul why it is that Saul feels it necessary to continue to assault His followers.

Thoughts for Today:
First Thought:
 I love the fact that Saul just folds up on the ground in the presence of Jesus.  There is something genuinely neat about Saul collapsing into the fetal position as his only defense.  And I’m not being snarky here.  It is really cool.  When we are genuinely in the presence of the Lord we have no defense.  We think we’re so strong and so brave and so macho.  We think we’re so loveable and so perfect and so worth paying attention to.  But what happens to Saul in the presence of God?  He folds up and tries to become as small and helpless as possible.  Saul shows us that in the presence of God there is only one response: beg and plead for mercy and look pathetic.

How do you think you would respond if Jesus came into your presence right now?  How do you think you will respond when you stand before Him in heaven waiting for God to judge you?

Second Thought:
I also love the fact that Saul is spoken to out of the light.  This may seem strange, but I love that this is a part of our Bible.  There is no explanation of this event.  Either you believe something supernatural (or at least inexplicable) happened or you believe it is a crock.  This is one of those “you either believe or you don’t” stories.  I love that these are a part of the Bible because these stories really help draw the line of who the genuine believers actually happen to be.

Have you ever thought of this story as a “line-in-the-sand” kind of story?  Can you see why this story would make it hard for people to believe in God?  How might it actually make it easier for people to believe in God?

Third Thought:
I also love the fact that Jesus doesn’t mince words.  Jesus doesn’t say, “Saul, thanks for giving me a great effort even if you are going in the wrong direction.  You genuinely thought that you were following God, and I respect that.”  LOL.  No, “Jesus lays the smack down and confronts Saul.  Jesus tells Saul that he is in the wrong and he needs to think about what he’s done.  Jesus is like that parent that catches the child doing wrong and sends them to their room to think about what they’ve done knowing that they’ve been caught.  Jesus doesn’t mince words.  Life – and salvation – is far too important to mince words when genuine correction needs to be had.

Does this angle on Jesus surprise you at all?  Does Jesus seem too harsh in your eyes or are you appreciative of this confrontational Jesus?

Passage for Tomorrow: Acts 9:5-6
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