Over the summer, I read through the book of Acts. I don’t typically read straight through books of the bible. Usually I read a verse here and a verse there, everywhere a verse verse. But after watching the Bible TV series, it piqued my interest. The actual Bible, that is.
At the end of the last episode, one of Jesus’ disciples was banished to an island. Everything he wrote while on the island was recorded in Revelation. That was the end of the series. Just like wanting to know what happens after Rey finds Luke at the end of Star Wars, I wanted to know what the book said. I stayed up until I read every word. Now that is some crazy shiz.
It was right around then, I decided to read through Acts, one chapter at a time. The book was written by Luke–not Skywalker. Did I confuse you?
The book of Acts is about Jesus’ disciples continuing to follow His teachings after his death, his resurrection, his return to earth and ascension into heaven. You learn about the sending of the Holy Spirit and the disciples receiving this spirit. Yowzas. Maybe you ought to read it yo’self.
It is mostly about a man named Saul, who later changed his name to Paul. He hated followers of Jesus and was a big time persecutor, not prosecutor, purse-a-cuter. I wonder if he even owned any cute purses. Sorry, I digress.
As far as Saul knew, Jesus was dead and gone. The Pharisees–the religious people at the time, rejected Jesus as the Son of God and had him crucified for saying so. They stood by the laws of Moses. They knew the prophesy of a coming Messiah, but when it came to Jesus, not only were they not buying it, they didn’t want to. The Pharisees didn’t like the things he had to say nor did they approve of the things he did. And Saul was one of ’em.
One day, Jesus met Saul on a road to Damascus. Saul was on his way to seek out followers and turn them into prisoners. He was taking care of business and was glad to do it. Jesus asked him why he was persecuting him (this was after the Crucifixion). Scripture says the light from heaven flashed around Saul and he fell to the ground. He heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
It was a defining moment in Paul’s life. He was blinded by the light of heaven and spent three days in darkness. Later, God healed him of his blindness. He temporarily lost his sight but saw Jesus for who he was, the Messiah. Paul didn’t turn to Him after receiving his sight but around the time he lost it. He may have been physically blind but spiritually he had seen the light.
Paul became God’s chosen instrument to carry the name of Jesus wherever he went, not because he was forced to, but because of God’s grace and love. He had business to take care of and he was glad to do it.
When was the last time you were touched by God’s grace?