Saul on the Damascus Road

Saul on the Damascus Road

This must be one the most amazing and moving stories in the Bible—except for the life of the Lord Jesus. It is a story of power, zeal, religious passion and hatred, and it ends with humility, grace and love. You may be more familiar with Saul by his later name—the Apostle Paul. To fully appreciate the incident we need to examine his background, and very interesting it is. Saul was born in Tarsus in the province of Cilicia, said to be ‘no obscure city’ (Acts 21:39). By birth a Jew of impeccable pedigree, his father a Pharisee, a Roman citizen. He quoted this when arrested (Acts 16:37, 22:25–26). It was the Jewish custom to teach boys a manual trade, and Saul was a tent maker (Acts 18:3). He would have left his home as a young man and gone to Jerusalem, where he would be educated in the Jewish laws

Acts

Acts

THE WRITER IS Luke, who reminds us that he has previously written—in his Gospel— of ‘all that Jesus began to do and teach’ (Acts 1:1). The book of Acts starts with Jesus’ ascension to heaven (1:9), and shows how Jesus was still at work after his ascension in the spread of the Gospel by his followers. Chapters 2–12 show how, with God’s power (the Holy Spirit), Christ’s apostles preached the Gospel in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. The preaching was so effective that thousands believed and were baptized (2:41, 47; 5:14; 11:24). In Jesus’ name the apostles also performed miracles. Their message always concerned ‘the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ’ (8:12; 19:8; 28:23, 31). It was a message rooted in Old Testament history and God’s promises to the fathers of Israel, but it was now based on the work of Jesus Christ and not the Law of