Daily Reading: (Acts 9:1-5)
|Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied.
Meanwhile, (as in) before Saul received the grace of God, he was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples (Acts 9:1).
“He found any there who belonged to the Way” Way- (hodos)- a metaphor meaning a way (i.e. manner) of thinking, feeling, deciding. It also means a traveler’s way, journey, travelling. Saul was on a journey but he had not yet found the Way (Acts 9:2).
How appropriate to call them people that belonged to the Way. Because Jesus said: “I am the Way” in John 14:6 using the exact same Greek Word.
Saul was rounding up the people who belong to Jesus. What a comforting thought to know that even though danger is seeking you out, you belong to Jesus (Acts 9:2).
Acts 8:39:”When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing.” Did you catch that? The eunuch went on his way rejoicing. True joy is found when people find the Way (Jesus) Acts 8:39.
What was the first thing Paul saw when he was healed? The answer is Ananias (Acts 9:18). Do you know what the name Ananias means? Ananias is a derivative of the name Hananiah. And the name Hananiah consists of two parts, the final end being יה (Yah), which is an abbreviated form of YHWH, or Yahweh. The first part of Hananiah comes from the verb חנן (hanan), meaning to be gracious:
When the scales fell off of Paul’s eyes he could now clearly see (Ananias) the graciousness of God.
So, it was the journey of God’s grace that found Paul heading down the wrong road and prevented him from continuing to persecute the Way. It was God’s grace that opened up his eyes to see who Jesus really was and it was God’s grace that enabled him to preach Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God (Acts 9:20).