We are persecuting Jesus when we persecute his brothers and sisters. Until Saul saw Jesus for himself he did not know that he was offensive to God. He was bathed in the light of God’s Love that he encountered in Jesus. He was welcomed into fellowship with God but would need to surrender his credentials.
Saul was so angry in his commitment to being right. The answer for angry people may not always be anger management. It may instead require a holy vision of Jesus to set them right.
‘Anger makes you smaller, while forgiveness forces you to grow beyond what you were.’
You may have had religious experiences that shaped your opinions, but nothing will give you more cause for pause than an encounter of the Living Christ. There is a brilliance that leaves you blind to past ways of thinking.
There is a transformative surrender that comes when we really see the Light. All of our darkness is exposed and bathed in truth.
Saul of Tarsus had much to abandon to follow Jesus. His new life required a name change to Paul the servant of Jesus. He wasn’t that man he worked so hard to be. There is no greater paradigm shift than to have your identity changed.
John would later say,
Have you encountered the blinding light of Jesus that changes the heart of everything that you see?