Thursday, 4 February 2021
As he traveled he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him [displaying the glory and majesty of Christ]… -Acts 9:3
We have in our reading today, Saul’s encounter with Jesus Christ on his way to Damascus. His purpose was to threaten and destroy the disciples of the Lord Jesus. Later in Acts, we read his introduction of himself: “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. I studied under Gamaliel and was thoroughly trained in the law of our ancestors. I was just as zealous for God as any of you are today.” (Acts 22:3) With such zeal, he was out not just to destroy the new followers of Christ, not just satisfied with the stoning of the disciple Stephen but was now on his way to Damascus to arrest more followers of the Way. But the encounter changed Saul the persecutor, to a new man, the preacher of the gospel, who later came to be known as the Apostle Paul!
The Light of Jesus Enlightens
In verse 3 we read, a light from heaven shone around Saul. This is the same light of Jesus explained in John 1:9[AMP] “ ….the true Light [the genuine, perfect, steadfast Light] which, coming into the world, enlightens everyone.” Jesus reveals himself to Saul and lets him know his rebellion against God was pointless- his actions were as senseless as an ox kicking “against the goads.” (Acts 26:14) Saul’s passion and sincerity in his fight against Christianity was misguided—he was not heading in the direction God wanted him to go; now Jesus was going to steer Paul in the right direction.
When Jesus enlightens his heart, Saul surrenders his life to Christ as he spends three days in prayer. Jesus made it clear to Saul that he had gone his own way but now he was to become an instrument in the hands of the Master to do His will as He had foreordained it. The Lord Jesus commissioned him to carry the gospel: Vs. 15 says, “…for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.” Later God used the Apostle not just to preach the gospel but explain it in many of the epistles that through Christ we have the victory over death which was the consequence of sin (1Corinthians 15).
Jesus Is the Light of the World
In John 8:12 while addressing the crowd, Jesus said, “I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” In saying so, Jesus was claiming that He is the only source of spiritual light; the source of spiritual truth available to mankind. He only can enlighten the darkened mind to see the truth of the gospel. There is no other source for the remission of sins – only the Blood of Jesus can cleanse us and make us holy and presentable to God. Then you will know God’s will and purpose in you. (Ref: Romans 12:1,2)
1 John 2:2 [TLB] says: “He is the one who took God’s wrath against our sins upon himself and brought us into fellowship with God; and he is the forgiveness for our sins, and not only ours but all the world’s.”
Today this Light of Jesus is shining on you with this spiritual truth. Will you allow His light to enlighten you to know the will of God in your life?- You too can be holy and acceptable to God through Him!
For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6)