Falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?"Acts 9:4(HCSB)
Who could have been a more deeply religious man than Saul of Tarsus? And yet his fervent zeal was counter to the will of God. Who could have been a more passionate hater of Jesus of Nazareth than this Pharisee? Yet he became Christ's most ardent admirer, worshipping the Lord Jesus in grateful reverence and submitting to the Nazarene as His bond-servant.
Paul had played havoc with the Church, entering into homes where he dragged-off both men and women to jail. He was influential in Christian persecution in the early Church, causing many to scatter abroad - preaching the gospel of Christ as they fled. But the men and women that Paul abused and killed were members of Christ's own body - the Church, and in persecuting believers he was also persecuting the Lord Jesus Christ.
But as Paul neared the city of Damascus, Christ Himself halted his journey and arrested his attention with the question: Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? The proud, Saul of Tarsus not only heard the piercing question of the risen ascended and glorified Lord Jesus, but he also saw a great and piercing light from heaven, which blinded his eyes and caused him to ask that all important question: Who art Thou Lord? Who are You?
When he was challenged by Christ on his life-journey, Saul asked the right question, Who are You Lord? Saul had believed that Jesus the Nazarene was long dead and buried and His memory needed to be blotted out from the minds of His fool-hardy followers and removed from the auspicious record of Israel's history books. But when Saul asked that momentous question, his heart was open to receive the truth, that would change his own life forever and influence millions more. This encounter was to be the single most significant event that changed the history of the Christian church. I am Jesus, Whom you are persecuting," was the staggering reply replied. I am Jesus, and when you persecute my children you are persecuting ME.
And so Saul listened and heard and responded to Christ's reply, but from that moment forward he had to re-examine his preconceived notions about God and lay aside so much of the erroneous traditions that exchanged the truth of God for man's developed traditions.
How like the times in which we live and how important that we not only ask the same question as did Saul - Whom God had chosen to become His chosen servant and be given the office of apostle to the gentiles. How important that like Paul we listen, hear and respond to Christ's call in our own live. He will not come as a blinding light on the road to Damascus, but He certainly speaks in clear language within the pages of Holy Scripture.
Let us be ardent admirers and reverent worshippers of the Lord Jesus and let us soak all we do for the Lord in humble prayer, as we listen to His guiding voice in our hearts, praying: Thy will not mine be done.
Loving Father, open my eyes to see more of the Lord Jesus as did the apostle Paul, and I pray that all I do may be to Your glory and not what I perceive to be Your will or founded on the traditions of man, in Jesus name I pray, AMEN.