In the days after Christ ascended to heaven, the church was persecuted. One of its great persecutors was Saul of Tarsus. He is a pharisee of pharisees, born of the tribe of Benjamin. He learned at the feet of the great teacher Gamaliel. He was present and held the coats of the stone throwers at the stoning of Stephen, the first martyr. Saul’s hatred of the followers of the Way was so great, that he sought out letters from the High Priest permitting him to go to the synagogues of Damascus and bring them gagged and bound to Jerusalem. But as always, our Lord intervenes, and comes to Saul in a most unexpected way, blinding him as he makes his way to Damascus.
After Paul is confronted on the road to Damascus by the risen and ascended Lord Christ, he is sent on to Damascus where he is blind for three days, and neither eats nor drinks. It is then that a Disciple named Ananias comes to him, being called by Christ to do so. Ananias is reluctant to do so at first, having heard of Saul’s infamy. Yet our Lord tells him that this murderer is His chosen instrument to bring the Gospel to the gentiles.
Click here to listen this week’s lesson from Deaconess Pam Nielson at Concordia Publishing House from her interview on Issues, etc.