"So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, 'If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.' " John 8:31-32
Is your vision a bit fuzzy? Have you been deceived by worldly philosophies? Are you willing to be set free by the truth?
A hush falls over the synagogue as a fiery Jew stands before the crowd. Today's speaker: a powerful Pharisee named Saul--the persecutor.
It's no secret how Saul feels about Christianity. He detests it. And everyone knows why he has come to the Roman city of Damascus.
For some time, Saul had been heard breathing out murderous threats against the radical members of the Way--the name given to Christ's disciples. Now he is leading a campaign of repression against them and is determined to bring down his iron fist on their unorthodox teachings.
Saul's eyes scan the synagogue, studying the faces of his fellow Jews and members of the Law. The words unfold slowly from his lips. "This Man. . . . This man they call Jesus Christ. . . . He is . . ."
Yes, Saul, get on with it, another Pharisee tells himself. Tell the crowd that he's a liar and a fraud. Tell them his followers are a bunch of lunatics who should be behind bars.
Saul speaks passionately. "He is truly the Son of God. This Jesus, the One I thought was dead, is alive. I've seen Him with my own eyes. Those Christians are right!"
"Isn't he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem?" a voice shouts from the crowd.
"And hasn't he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?" shouts another.
Saul emphasizes the truth. "This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Christ," he says. "Repent of your sins. Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved."
It's a miracle in Damascus! The stern Pharisee who was once bent on blocking the Way . . . now burns a path for the Good News of Christ. The feared persecutor who was once blinded with hate . . . now sees with a heart focused on love. (Read more in Acts 13.)
Lord. please reveal what Your "good, pleasing, and perfect will" for my life looks like (Romans 12:2). Guide my steps and give me greater dreams than I could ever imagine on my own. Amen.