The Damascus Road was a turning point for the Apostle Paul, a committed follower of Christ. He never forgot this. For example, in Acts 22;6, “As I was on my way and drew near to Damascus, about noon a great light from heaven suddenly shone around me. Or in , At midday, O king, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, that shone around me and those who journeyed with me. And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ And I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. The last voice he wanted to hear say that terrified would be an understatement, since he was persecuting the church. Trying to eradicate the church in its infant stage. Throughout life, he has often stated, ul remembered how he had persisted the Way ” (Galatians 1:13, Philippians 3:6) and (1Timothy 1:13)
Remember he thought working for God he thought the Way was a heretic and needed to eradicate society.“I was convinced that I ought to do many things in opposing the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
Jesus started these words. They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God
To understand the Apostle Paul, you need to understand the cultures and upbringing. The Bible declares these words, circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, he considers himself blameless.
Note a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee he was from tribe Benjamin His birthplace, Tarsus, was a major city in eastern Cilicia, a region that had been made part of the Roman province of Syria by the time of Paul’s adulthood,
was a Greek-speaking Jew, since he was of Jewish descent. He understood the Torah and the tradition that handed were handed down by Pharisees and
the Sadducees and its oral traditions which was 613. As scriptures declare, “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city, educated at the feet of Gamaliel according to the strict manner of the law of our fathers, being zealous for God as all of you are this day. He also stated, Now when Paul perceived that one part was and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees meaning I am a Pharisee and a disciple of the Pharisees,
The Acts of the Apostles introduces Gamaliel as a Pharisee and celebrated doctor of the Mosaic Law in Acts 5:34–40 a Pharisee in the council named Gamaliel, a law teacher held in honour by all the people.
Saul had a bright future ahead of him and likely would be being a candidate for 70 elders. A Spiritual leadership is a grave responsibility, and God holds leaders to a higher standard (James 3:1). The seventy elders of Israel were granted extraordinary privileges, but they also carried weighty responsibilities.Jesus declares these words, in Matthew 23:1-39 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, so practice and observe whatever they tell you—but not what they do. For they preach, but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long.
All that changed when Paul encounters Jesus on the Damascus Road, a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, that shone around me and those who journeyed with me. Where I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’
Even though he was terrified, Saul asks,‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, ‘Rise, and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all that is appointed for you to do.’ And since he could not see because of the brightness of that light, I was led by the hand by those who were with me, and came into me brought to Damascus. Jesus declares to him following were, to appoint Paul as a servant and witness the things you have seen me and testify. To delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles—to whom I am sending you, to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified
Wherefore, for you will be my witness for to everyone of what you have seen and heard. Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on My name.’Paul has Instantly transformed from a Pharisee to a follower of Christ his sins were now totally forgiven by Christ no longer remember in heaven as He declared There is therefore now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. Romans 8;1
Boy, the apostle understood failure and being forgiving As scripture declares, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Or as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
He later penned these words; indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake, I have suffered the failure of all things and count them as rubbish, so that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on dedication.
Scripture declares I did not immediately consult with anyone; nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia and returned to Damascus. Then after fourteen years, I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus and me. Galatian
Why would did Paul go to Arabia? This period is described as a spiritual retreat into the desert to work out the implications of his encounter with Jesus. Paul inevitably begins working through what “Jesus as Messiah” means and his role as the ‘light to the Gentiles” should be. He likely spent a great deal of time reading the scripture developing the material that he will use later on in Antioch, throughout letters and on the missionary journeys. But this period is not a monastic retreat! Paul is preaching Jesus and being faithful to his calling as the light to the Gentiles.
It’s time of reflection; that he found himself in much confusion as a result of the vision near Damascus and that this time was required for intellectual and theological readjustment before he would be equipped for his extraordinary career as an apostle. “Arabia” is to be identified place he discovers new truth. Of Paul was a psychological upheaval that resulted in chaos or even in temporary confusion.
Likely he spends his time re-reading the Torah, discovering Jesus instead of the his tradition that was he taught. For example, he read. I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” And the Lord God made for Adam and his wife garments of skins and clothed them. or skin cover humanity sins
Or Abraham seed meaning the Messiah as scriptures If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
When the Apostle Paul went to Jerusalem And he immediately proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.” But Saul increased all the more in strength and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ.
The follower of Christ and the disciples did not believe him until Barnabus intercede, Paul behalf of And all who heard him were amazed and said, “Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem of those who called upon this name? And has he not come here for this purpose, to bring them bound before the chief priests?” And when he had come to Jerusalem, he attempted to join the disciples. And they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles and declared to them how on the road he had seen the Lord, who spoke to him, and how at Damascus he had preached boldly in the name of Jesus. Acts 9:21,26-27
Think our forefathers such as St Augustine, an amoral person and slept around, John Newton foul mouth sailor and as work slave traders, John Bunyan was a gang member Charles Watson and Susan Akins murder seven people, Sean Žellar was Satanist and three people, Jeffrey Dahmer slept boys had them for a meal, David Berkowitz known as the son of Sam murdered six people and wounded seven others, Ted Bundy murdered 30 young women and sexually them, Karla Faye Tucker killing two people with pixie axe, and James Vance was a thug, liar and hook cocaine. All these men and women were all followers of Christ and loved Jesus Christ
When you accept Jesus as Lord and Messiah, repent, confess, and believe in atoning work on the cross, then all past, present and futures sins on Christ and He replace with His righteousness we are a new creature in Christ
Calvin wrote, O the place of rest, which I consider not unworthy of the name of inner-chamber, where God is seen, not as if disturbed with anger, or distracted by care, but where his will is proved to be good, and acceptable, and perfect. That vision does not terrify but soothe, does not tranquillizes the senses. Here is proper rest. A tranquil God tranquillizes all things, and to see him at rest, is to be at rest.