I had always been deligent about everything that I did especially concerning my religion. When a new cult appeared that seemed to challenge the tenets of my faith, I immediately resolved to wipe out this “Jesus Movement” even if I had to do it single handedly. I went from house to house dragging out both men and women to have them beaten and imprisoned.
When I heard that the cult had spread to Damascus, I was furious. I got letters from the high priest to visit the synagogues there. As I was riding to Damascus, an intensely brilliant light suddenly shone down blinding me. I fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying, “Saul, Saul why are you persecuting Me?” I answered, “Who are you, Lord?”
The voice answered, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.”
I could not have been more surprised. “What do you want me to do, Lord?”
“Arise and go into the city and you will be told what you must do.”
I rose to my feet but though my eyes were open I could see nothing. At the same time my spiritual eyes had been opened. Scriptures from the scrolls came to my mind. Jesus had fulfilled them!*** He WAS the Messiah. I had been persecuting Him when I dragged those believers off to jail. In my religious zeal, I had been on the wrong side!
I wondered what was to become of me. If Jesus was God, and I had been attacking His followers, what would He do to me? I knew that punishment was coming. Surely I would never see again! Perhaps my life was about to be extinguished. I shivered in fear. Tears of repentance ran from my sightless eyes. Was there anything that I could do to thwart the Lord’s anger?
For three days I had been sitting in darkness in a house in Damascus awaiting my fate, when suddenly the silence was shattered by a knock at the door. A man named Ananias came in. I could tell by the sound of his voice that he was afraid of me–probably one of those “believers” that I had intended to arrest.
“Brother Saul,” he began. He had called me “brother!” I knew all the followers of Jesus considered themselves to be part of the Lord’s family. Did this man somehow know that I had repented–that I now believed in Jesus? “The Lord Jesus has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” He placed his hands on my eyes.
Immediately, something like scales fell from my eyes, and I could see! They took me out to the river where, at my request, I was baptized. Then we all returned to Judas’ house where a large meal had been prepared.
The Lord had forgiven me! The believers had forgiven me! Inwardly I vowed that they would not regret it. I promised from this moment forward to promote the cause of Christ as diligently as I had opposed it! The very next day I began to preach!
Postscript: Paul kept his promise. He wrote most of the New Testament and faithfully peached and until the time of his martyr death for his faith.
***The Old Testament Prophecies that were fulfilled by Jesus included: Genesis 3:15, Micah 5:2, Isaiah 7:14 , Genesis 12:3, Isaiah 9:1,2,7, Isaiah 53:3, 12 and many more.