See how decisive change can be.
Paul was changed from being anti-Christian to being pro-Christ, Christian in every respect; and the Christian elder treated him as such. Hear Ananias to him: “Brother Saul, regain your sight!”
His sight returned and with that the news that God had chosen him to be God’s witness to all the world.
Not surprisingly, there would be doubts and question surrounding Paul’s new assignment. After all, he understood that with his record of persecuting Christians, approving the killing of Stephen, all his past commitment to such anti-Christian attacks, the folks in Jerusalem and Judea would have difficulty accepting him as “Brother Saul.”
But the wide world included the Gentiles who also needed to hear the Good News. The all wise God took account of this. So, in his trance, he heard Jesus saying, “Go, for I will send you far away to the Gentiles”.
As Paul retold the story of his conversion and calling, the listeners felt they had enough evidence to condemn him to death. But death would have to wait. His Roman citizenship served as his passport, not only to prevent his flogging and death, but to give him audience with the high-ranking council where he could speak to the high priest and others from the establishment.
How Paul used his training in legal and religious matters! Seeing Sadducees and Pharisees there, he knew just how to weaken the movement against him. He spoke of his hope of the resurrection, a matter that deeply divided Pharisees and Sadducees. And once more, he got the better of the situation.
How often have divide and rule tactics been used against the marginalised. Now Paul uses it against the powerful!
The Lord needed him to testify in Rome. It was not solely Paul’s desire. The Lord stood by him, “Keep up your courage! For just as you have testified for me in Jerusalem, so you must bear witness also in Rome”.
And the story continues…