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We Need A Conversion On The Road

By: Joyce K. Picker Acts Chapter 9:1-18 Saul’s Conversion

Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the High Priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.


Saul was breathing threats and even murder against the Lord’s disciples. He asked the High Priest for letters so he could take members of the Way to Jerusalem for persecution. He was determined to persecute them and was very zealous about it. He entered houses and dragged both men and women to prison. He wanted to continue this work in Damascus.


As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Yeshua, whom you are persecuting,” he replied.


I can’t even imagine what Saul must have thought. Here he is conversing with God Himself. A light came from Heaven and a voice started talking to him! We know that this happened mid-day when the sun was brightest yet, Saul said that this light was brighter than the sun. (Acts 26:13) Interestingly, his first reaction was to fall to the ground. Do you think he intuitively knew he was conversing with God or just because he was afraid? According to F.F. Bruce, the rabbis of Saul’s day mostly believed that God no longer spoke to man directly, as he did in the days of the prophets. However, they believed that one could hear the “echo” of God’s voice, what they called “the daughter of the voice of God”. Here, however Saul learned that one can hear God’s voice directly! I also know that when God repeats something twice like in this passage: Saul, Saul, it is to display emotion but not anger and it is very, very important. Also, I believe that when God asked him the question, why are you persecuting me, that Saul realized at that moment he was indeed persecuting God not man. He thought he was serving God by viciously attacking the Believers in Yeshua instead he realized he was fighting God. How many times does this kind of thinking seem logical to us? Instead, we must stop, and realize what we are really doing. This is sadly true in history when those who think they are doing God a favor end up persecuting others instead. In other words, Yeshua could have been saying, “why are you doing such a futile thing?” Unless Saul was hallucinating, the appearance of Yeshua proved that He was alive and well and that Yeshua is God.


Most everyone has questions they would like to ask God, right? Some of those may include:


Will there be world peace?

How can I be a better person?

What does the future hold for me and my family?

Will there be a cure for all diseases?

Why is there suffering in the world?


These are just a few but I’m sure there are many more. But notice Saul’s question is: “Who are you, Lord? “ We must ask this question with a humble and contrite heart and ask it to God. Yeshua showed us who God is. I believe this was the beginning for Saul and he spent the rest of his days after the conversion of heart wanting to know more about the answer to this question. (Philippians 3:10) With a surrendered heart, he asked what do you want me to do? Even though he must have been terrified by this encounter. I also believe that the Lord reveals things to us in small pieces instead of laying out the whole plan at once because of our nature.


The text continues:


“Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do. “The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone.


Often this is the case when God reveals himself to us and others are around. They too must have been terrified and did not know what to think about it. They were speechless but let this be a lesson to us. This incident did not only benefit Saul but also those who were a witness. Often when we encounter something so supernatural, others are watching. It affected him so much that he would not eat or drink anything for three days. This was a humbling experience that left him unable to do anything for three days except to think about his life and what he had done. Interesting, three days and three nights, does that sound familiar? I think in the three days he was dying to himself like we all need to do on a daily basis in order to receive life from our Lord.


The text continues:


Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything. In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias.


We don’t really know anything about Ananias. He was simply a disciple of the Lord. We don’t know why he was in Damascus. He was just a like you and I, ordinary people. This makes it even more special because God used an ordinary person for a miracle so He could get the credit for this miracle. Ananias was an obedient and willing vessel like we should be. I think it’s interesting that Ananias spoke to God saying: Are you kidding, do you know who this Saul is? As if God didn’t know!!!!Sometimes we think we can logically know what God’s plan is and we question it. God answered Ananias and said that Saul was His chosen instrument! Wow! Ananias was a part of History and a part of something as great as God’s plan for His people.


God shared the specifics with Ananias:

A specific street (called Straight)

A specific house (the house of Judas)

A specific man (one called Saul of Tarsus)

A specific thing the man was doing (he is praying)

A specific vision the man had (in a vision he has seen a man called Ananias)


God gave Ananias the specifics because He asked him to do something bold and dangerous in meeting Saul. The main point we need to receive from this is that Ananias may have questioned God because of fear but ultimately, he was absolutely obedient. God reassured Him too. God had a call on Saul’s life and a mission for him. Interestingly he revealed this to Ananias first!


The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias! ”Yes, Lord,” he answered. The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.” “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem.

And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.” But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.” Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Yeshua, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized,

and after taking some food, he regained his strength.


Ananias was obedient to carry out God’s plan and so should we be. Even when things are unknown. If God says it, we must obey. I believe since Saul was blinded, he had to rely on the love and touch of Ananias, which the Holy Spirit conveyed through the senses. It is often said that Saul was converted on the road to Damascus. But it was not on the road but when the Gospel of Yeshua entered his heart, and he was truly converted spiritually from a non-Believer to a Believer. It was a dramatic experience. It wasn’t on the road but in Damascus. The text says after this happened when he had received food, he was strengthened. This was both a physical and spiritual strengthening much like what we receive every time we are in the presence of the Highest God. The text says after this, Saul spent several days with the Disciples at Damascus. This is important as we all need to spend time in the presence of like-minded brothers and sisters. We must be witnesses to God’s greatness to strengthen and encourage us. I believe the Lord looks for us to cooperate in the conversion of others to show we are all part of the family of Messiah. This passage shows us that being broken before God is a prelude to filling us up with the Holy Spirit. What an awesome and marvelous God we serve. We should be excited to be a part of the Body of Messiah.

Heavenly Father, thank you for such conversions of the heart experiences that we are a part of in the Body of Messiah. Thank you for your miracles, signs and wonders. Thank you for a fresh perspective and a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit. Thank you that we see with our spiritual eyes to see situations and experiences with your wisdom. Fill us full in Yeshua’s name. Amen.


Take a look at our website and read the other blogs. There are teachings on the Biblical Feasts and Festivals.


All Scripture is taken from the Tree of Life version.

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