I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day. And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women. As also the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also I received letters unto the brethren, and went to Damascus, to bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem, for to be punished. And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me. Acts 22:2-6
One of the strongest pieces of evidence for God is our personal testimony. Most of us have a testimony how they came to Christ and he changed their life. Well here in Chapter 22 , Paul is sharing his testimony, how he literally saw the light, had a “come to Jesus” moment, and his life was transformed forever.
One reason Paul was so successful in his evangelism , is his educational background. As Paul shares, he was trained in the Torah by a Rabbi named Gamaliel. Now according to Jewish historian Josephus, also the Talmud, and the New Testament, Rabbi Gamaliel was well respected among the Jewish community, and he was the grandson of other famous Jewish Rabbis. Point is Paul was training to be a Pharisee, and was trained by some of the best Rabbis of the time. Because of Pauls extensive knowledge of the Old Testament scriptures, he was able to effectively display how Jesus was the fulfillment of the Messianic prophecies throughout the Bible
And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest. And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me. And I said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do. Acts 22:7-10
When we have a “Come to Jesus” moment, our lives are never the same. We can’t encounter Christ and not be changed, our soul has longed for reconciliation with God, and only Jesus can provide this. Notice Pauls response “Lord what shall I do”? Are we asking Jesus, how can I serve you? What can I do for your Kingdom?
And when I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of them that were with me, I came into Damascus. And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there, Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him. And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth. Acts 22:11-14
Before Paul could be restored , he first needed to be broken! Many of us also need to be broken before we can be fixed by Jesus. Paul was blinded by The Light, and then the scales fell off his eyes and now he can see through the eyes of God. This is the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Paul had the head knowledge about God, but he didn’t have the Holy Spirit. Now he’s become Born Again and become a new creation for Christ!
For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard. And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord. Acts 22:15-16
One of the great evidences of Christ’s resurrection is the testimony of Paul’s life. A devout Pharisee , saw the Risen Jesus on the road to Damascus and was transformed forever, taking the gospel to the unclean Gentiles. Only the power of the Holy Spirit can transform a life like this!
As Jesus said to Paul “Arise , be baptized and wash away your sins in the name of The Father, Son , and Holy Spirit” Amen!