1Meanwhile Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. 3Now as he was going along and approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.4He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” 5He asked, “Who are you, Lord?” The reply came, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. 6But get up and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” 7The men who were traveling with him stood speechless because they heard the voice but saw no one. 8Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. (Acts 9:1-8)
If one could drive directly from Jerusalem to Damascus, it would take about 7 hours; but if one walked, it would take a few days to get there. Paul and his companions were on a journey with a specific destination. They were not on vacation or out for a fun time. Paul believed it was heresy these “Christians” were preaching Jesus was the Savior, the Resurrected Lord, and the Anointed one, who was also the Messiah. Paul believed in his heart he was on a mission from God to destroy this heretical movement.
Then something wonderful happened. While on his journey, there was a moment in time that changed Paul’s life forever. Paul asked the question, “Who are you?” The response was, “I am Jesus, who you persecute.” At that very moment, Paul received Jesus. His life was changed forever. We have proof that Paul, who once wanted to destroy the Church, now becomes one of the greatest supporters of the Church. His journey is recorded in the New Testament as we read the many letters written to the churches of his time.
Our lives are much like Paul’s story. We are all on a journey, and our journey has a destination. On this journey, we celebrate many wonderful events - our birth, turning 16, getting a driver’s license, graduations from kindergarten, high school, and college, finding our first job, getting married, and then having our own children. You get the point. There are many special events we connect with - but the greatest event - the one that will change our lives has nothing to with us on the outside, but it has everything to do with us on the inside. I am not saying it has to be like Paul’s eye blinding experience, but it has to be an experience. It is a moment in time when we say yes to Jesus; a moment in time when our lives are changed forever. The question is, “Who are you Lord?” “I am Jesus,” is the answer.
Do you know this Jesus? I pray that you do.