Lent Devotional: Acts 9:1-22
by Jonathan Haefs
Acts 9:1-22 (click here)
But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.” (Acts 9:1-5)
My children fight on occasion. I know that is shocking. I mean… siblings fighting is such a strange thing, right? Well, they do fight and sometimes things may even get physical. I have a “zero tolerance” policy for such violence between my children. They are not allowed to push, pull, hit, smack, shove, bite, or touch one another in any other way that expresses anger.
If they do, then the offending party always gets the same speech which I emphatically conclude with the words, “No one hurts my child and gets away with it… no one!”
My bond with my children is so close that any attack against their well-being might as well be an attack against me! I think we all know this feeling whether we have children or not. Perhaps you have felt this kind of bond with a sibling and no one was allowed to pick on your brother or sister (except you of course). Or perhaps you have felt such a bond with a significant other, or even a really close friend.
We all know what it is like to be bonded with another so that their hurt is our hurt. Their pain is our pain.
In an even greater, deeper way this is true of the bond between Christ and his church! In Acts 9, Saul sets out to continue persecuting the disciples of Jesus, but when Jesus himself appears to Saul on the road to Damascus he asks, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting ME?… I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.”
In persecuting the church, Saul was persecuting Christ! When people come after you, insult you, and harm you… Jesus says they are doing it to him and God will bring that to an end for no one hurts his child and gets away with it… no one!
Yes, we will experience persecution and suffering now, but the day is coming when Christ will right all wrongs and justice will be done! Persecutors like Saul will not get away with what they have done! Their sin will either be judged through the cross of Christ because they repent and trust in him (such was the case with Saul) or they will bear the weight of their own sin and its judgment will fall on them. Either way, justice will be done when Christ’s kingdom comes!
Oh Christian, take heart when the world comes against you for Christ has overcome the world! When they come against you, they are coming against him… and he has already overcome them! That will be proven true, and it will be proven true for you! Take heart… no one hurts his child and gets away with it… no one!