An Encounter with Truth (Part Two)- Acts 9:1-9

In verse 5, Jesus answer to Saul’s question continues. Having answered Saul with “I am Jesus”, He then continues with “whom you are persecuting”. We know that Saul had never personally persecuted (Greek dioko- to pursue) Jesus, so why the use of me here? We learn here of Jesus identification with His people, that persecution of His followers is persecution of Him. Jesus thus confirms for Saul the fact that he has actually not been serving God, but functioning as God’s enemy. Jesus then commands Saul to get up and go into the city. The one who had been persecuting Jesus as an impostor was now prepared to obey Him as Lord. He will at that point be told what he “must” do. God gives guidance one step at a time, and here His guidance to His new convert consists of only one thing, he is not given a twelve step plan to follow. We note also the use of “must” (Greek dei-it is necessary) here, Jesus is now in charge and Saul obeys. At this point, Saul’s fellow persecutors are standing speechless. Saul himself tells us, in Acts 22:9, that his companions saw the light but did not understand the voice. This reminds us of Jesus saying, “him who has ears to hear, let him hear”, for only Paul here has “ears to hear’, only his ears have been opened by God, for no one can hear unless God first opens his ears. Saul then gets up from the ground, but finds he cannot see, that he has been blinded by this encounter, and he will remain so for three days. God blinded him so that he could begin to truly see, blinded the eyes of his head so he would begin to see with the eyes of his heart. And what is the first thing he now “sees”? His companions have to lead him to Damascus, the he must now learn to walk by faith, not by sight. He must learn to trust others, that self-sufficiency must die. Paul now is not only blind, but he also does not eat or drink anything for three days. Saul not only will be transformed in his way of seeing things, but also in what he looks to for sustenance, he will learn to feed upon the bread which Jesus ate, the food which he told His disciples they knew “nothing about” (John 4:32). It is certainly not coincidental that this new means of sustenance is also the means through which he will be given his new way of “seeing” things. This new “vision” is confirmed in Acts 9:18, in which “something like scales” fall from Saul’s eyes. His encounter with “the truth” has changed the way he “sees” things, changed his worldview and the way he interprets reality. This is what an encounter with “the truth” will always do, and anyone who truly has an encounter with Jesus Christ will see and understand reality in a new and different light, will be transformed in the way in which they “see” everything, interpreting and understanding reality in light of the word of God.

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