“As I was on the road, approaching Damascus about noon, a very bright light from heaven suddenly shone down around me. Acts 22:6
“I was blinded by the intense light and had to be led by the hand to Damascus by my companions. Acts 22:11
Saul of Tarsus was a Pharisee, a virtual Bible scholar of his day. He had been brought up in the ‘church’ and taught by an esteemed leader in the Sanhedrin. Saul, or as he later became known, Paul had every reason to believe he was on the right track, as he systematically went about trying to destroy what he thought was a dangerous and blasphemous cult. He was on his way from Jerusalem to Damascus to persecute the Christians there, when something happened along the way.
Paul went blind.
Far from the grand entrance he might have been expecting to make, Paul was pitifully led into town by the hand, utterly helpless.
We as humans, like to think of ourselves as being ‘right’. We know our facts, and we have things in a proper perspective. Truth be told, though, we need more than facts and perspective. We need God.
Paul knew the law and the prophets intimately. His knowledge of scripture was impressive, to say the least.
But he didn’t know Jesus.
He probably knew that God is the Father of lights. What he didn’t realize was that Jesus brought that light into the world. Jesus is, in fact, the Light of the world. It is His light that has been imparted to us. It is His light that we are meant to carry with us wherever we go, and it was His light that blinded Paul on the road to Damascus. After this experience Paul became the apostle who would write more than half of the new testament. He became a disciple of Christ in the fullest sense, pouring the rest of his life out as an offering to God.
Sometimes we just need to be blinded by the light. We need Jesus to lead us ‘by the hand’.
You might have the entire Bible memorized forward and back. You might have a chapter and verse ready for any occasion that might come up. Maybe you’ve even been to Bible college, or even preached a sermon or two in your time. But here’s the deal; You have to know HIM. Not just about Him. Millions of unbelievers know about Him, and unfortunately, that’s not enough.
Paul thought he had it all figured out when he left for Damascus. Maybe sometimes we do to. I know I don’t want to be one of ‘those people’ who go around all pumped up and self righteous, telling everyone else how it is. I want to carry the true light of God with me everywhere I go, bringing life into every situation. My prayer for the body of Christ today is for us to be blinded to our own preconceptions, so that the Holy Spirit can lead us ‘by the hand’ into the true light; an ever-deepening relationship with God and His son, Jesus Christ.