And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests? But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ. And after that many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him: But their laying await was known of Saul. And they watched the gates day and night to kill him. Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket. Acts 9:20-25
Certain people command attention when they walk into a room. I’m about to go into music judging season and I have to laugh about how nervous some of the kids get in front of me. Apparently, I can command attention at certain times of the year. I get to ask them terrible and scary questions about scales, cadences and arpeggios before they play their pieces for me. After years of doing this, I’ve gained a reputation as the chocolate and candy judge. I keep a beautiful basket of chocolates and candies in front of me to give the kids after they play, and don’t even think I’m strong enough to resist the dark chocolate. In fact, I’ve been guilty of separating the candy I like from the candy I give out to the kids. Dark chocolate is too good for children.
So, in walks Saul into the synagogues of Damascus…. I can just imagine the expressions on the people’s faces. This man who terrified all believers with his threats and murders was proclaiming that Jesus was the Son of God! And as time passed, Saul grew in his knowledge of the Lord and proved to all that Jesus was the Messiah. Verse 23 describes “many days after his conversion” which many scholars agree was about 3 years (not that he stayed only in Damascus all those 3 years according to Galatians 1:17-18) that the Jews plotted to kill Saul. Since Damascus was a completely walled city, and the conspirators were waiting for him at the gates, the Damascus disciples had to lower Saul through the wall in a basket. This basket was obviously large enough for a man to fit in and was probably made of ropes used to bring up goods from outside the city.
Saul was bold in his witness as a young believer. He was obviously teachable as he also studied to grow strong in the scriptures. Although he had some of the best teaching of the time, he humbled himself and studied the scripture diligently to become what the Lord would have him to be. What a beautiful example for us to be bold, humble and to keep studying the Word! Are we (II Timothy 2:15) “studying to show ourselves approved unto God…rightly dividing the Word of Truth?”
Written by Kaye Dee Richards. Kaye Dee lives with her husband Colin in Morrison, CO. They have 4 children, Joshua, Amelia, Victoria, and Julia.
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