“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. 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. 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. (Acts 9:5-9)
We first hear of Saul when he approved the stoning of Stephen. Now he’s on the road to Damascus to capture and murder Christians. He’s no different than those who lynched and hung African Americans in the first half of the twentieth century or Hitler or ISIS. Saul was a terrorist; yet he loved God. A Jew, Saul belonged to the body of God and saw Jesus and his followers as a threat to his religious identity. He did everything he could to squash the outsiders in the name of God.
God’s light blinded Saul to the world outside but made him see that God calls those willing to be led and that His body has no outsiders. Jesus is the head and people of all religions make up the core, arms, legs, hands, and feet.
Sometimes, even though we love God, we persecute Jesus. We make others feel like outsiders with our gossip, sneers, or hurtful words. God loves His body of believers so much that when any of us are persecuted, He feels persecuted also.
Father God, I praise you for calling me into your body. Help me see Your desires and shine Your light down the path of righteousness you’ve paved for me. Show me how to love those whom I don’t understand because they, also, are part of Your body. In Christ’s name, I pray. Amen.