Acts 9.19-22

After Saul’s spectacular experience on the road to Damascus where he encountered the risen Jesus (9.3-6) and his being born again (9.17-18) it seems that he departed and went away into Arabia (Galatians 1.15-17, read about it here). Returning to Damascus, he then stayed for a period of around three years (9.19b, cf. Galatians 1.18) where he proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues saying, “He is the Son of God”.

Understandably this brought confusion among those who knew Saul’s prior interaction with, and intent for, those following the Way and they even doubted his motivation for being there (v.21). Then, we start to see a little of the Divine wisdom behind choosing this well-travelled, Scripture-literate, zeal-hungry man as the chosen instrument of [the Lord’s] to carry [His] name before Gentiles and kinds and the children of Israel:

“…Saul became more and more capable, and was causing consternation among the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Christ“.

(Acts 9.22, NET, emphasis added)

Being the super student of Scripture that he was (Acts 22.3, Galatians 1.14) Paul could prove that there was going to be a Messiah, an anointed One, a Christ, sent from God to a certain place, at a certain time, to do certain things, and to die in a certain way through presenting Jews with their own literature. No doubt Paul used things like the prophecies in Daniel, the Psalms (Psalm 22, for example), the proto-evangelium of Genesis 3, the foreshadowing of the tabernacle as the place where God and man commune, and many more to prove that this long predicted person was Jesus.

For you and for me, when we come to see our Bibles as containing the very words of God, we see that each and every book has a purpose, a plan, and some kind of prediction or prophecy about Jesus, His person or His work.

We would do well to read Scripture with a Jesus-shaped lens: what is this telling me about Him, how is this glorifying Him, how is this urging me towards His finished work on the cross all the more? We know that He said it all points to Him (John 5.39, Luke 24.27) and when we see this we are able, as Paul was, to prove that Jesus is the Christ, the anointed One of God sent to save the world from sin and death.

Published by James Travis

Pastor of Saar Fellowship in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Married to Robyn and Dad to our two boys.

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