Blinded By The Light — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

Blinded By The Light — Morning Devotions

The transformation story of Paul the Apostle is one of the greatest conversion stories of all time. But the same can happen for all of us.

By Chris WittsTuesday 9 Aug 2022Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute


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Transcript:

One of the most religious men in the Bible was a man called Saul of Tarsus. Saul was an interesting character. He was a Jewish man born in a Greek town called Tarsus, far away from Jerusalem. He was also a Roman citizen, which was quite rare for a Jewish man. He chose to move to Jerusalem. He trained as a Pharisee, a devout and proud Pharisee and a teacher of the law of Moses.

He was very loyal to his country, and he was violently opposed to anyone who we considered to be a blasphemer. And he blamed the lawbreakers as the reason why God had not delivered them from the Roman Empire. Saul of Tarsus, A fearsome man, a zealot of deep convictions. But the problem was he persecuted Christians to the point of death. And we read in the Bible that things were business as usual for Saul.

Blinded by the light

One day he was making his journey to Damascus. He’d earned a very fearsome reputation for squashing out the uprisings from men and women of the way. They were called the early Christians. And he was on a mission to lock them up. But all that changed when the Book of Acts in the New Testament says that Saul, on his way to Damascus, was blinded by a great light and a voice was heard. “Saul, Saul, Why are you persecuting me?”

Saul, this zealot, was literally blinded. He couldn’t see. It was the voice of the resurrected Lord Jesus calling out to him. Calling out to this person of all people, Saul, a fanatical Jew. And things were about to make a dramatic change.

The Bible says that from three days after this experience on the road to Damascus, Saul received hands-on prayer from a man named Ananias. After receiving this prayer, the scales fell from Saul’s eyes. He could see again. He was no longer blind. And the astounding part of this is that Saul became one of the most committed Christ followers of the New Testament.

We know him today as the Apostle Paul. He spread the good news of Jesus across the Roman Empire. He encountered the Risen Christ. His blindness didn’t last that long. He could see he was baptised in the name of Jesus. He brought into the fellowship the very people that he was determined to exterminate. It must have astounded everyone who had heard the news. Extraordinary, almost unbelievable, that Saul of Tarsus had become Paul the Apostle.

Change of identity

This unexpected meeting with Jesus on the Damascus Road was an astounding surprise because blindness had turned into light. He’d earned a reputation for being one of the most cut-throat enemies of Christianity. And, you know, he spent the rest of his life earning a reputation as the most renowned Christian missionary to non Jewish people who are known as gentiles.

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This dramatic change would take Saul, his old name from a position of privilege to becoming Paul – a place of poverty and humility and actually would lead to his imprisonment and death. It was not a move that anyone would have guessed. The reason I’m telling you that story from the Bible is that when God opens your eyes, everything looks different. Nothing remains the same. The Christian faith calls this a true conversion. The old is gone. The new is there.

Rose Crawford had been blind for 50 years. She had an operation in a hospital in Canada. As the doctor lifted the bandages from her eyes, she wept because it was the first time in her life that she saw a dazzling and beautiful world of colour and form. But the amazing thing about her story, however, was that 20 years of her blindness was unnecessary. She didn’t know that surgical techniques had been developed and that an operation could have restored her vision at the age of 30. And the doctor said she just figured there was nothing that could be done for her condition. Much of her life could have been very different. How true it is for those who have received Jesus Christ.

Jesus. The resurrected Christ shines the bright light of truth into lives every day because we know the light drives away the shadows. The good news is there for everybody.

Let’s Pray

We thank you, Lord, for the amazing story of Saul of Tarsus, who became Paul the Apostle. A dramatic conversion. He was blinded by the light. You took him, Lord, and shined your light which changed the world of Christianity. Lord, if there’s something about me that needs to be changed, I pray that your light will come and do its work today. Amen.