Saul of Tarsus was zealous about what he believed in. Having a high ranking among those of the Jewish faith, he devoted himself to defending what he thought that faith meant.
But very often, we may think, and even insist that we know the facts when in fact we don’t because our “knowledge in skewed by bias of one sort or another.. There is an old proverb which states in part, “He who knows not, and knows not that he knows not, is a fool. Shun him.”
But the high priest did not know, and it would seem, did not want to know that Paul did not know what their faith was truly about. The top brass in that religion saw Jesus as a problem, and those after him, those who went about preaching the Resurrection and teaching faith in this same Jesus whom they had branded a troublemaker.
They and Saul were real fools in the matter of faith in Jesus the Christ. They devoted their time, energies and influence to fighting against God and they did not know it. Paul, like them, was in the dark and he needed to see the light.
And when that light dawned upon him on the road to Damascus, he could not see! But he must have seen sense at last for he asked Jesus, “Who are you, Lord?” That was some eureka moment, through which Saul lost his physical sight and came to see that he was on the wrong side. He would soon come to know that he did not previously know what God’s intention was for him.
People can often be headstrong, though in the wrong. In matters of faith, we may place our misinformed opinions in the place of truth and mercilessly persecute those whom we do not understand. There is such a thing as zeal without knowledge. Zealous Paul was unaware of his ignorance in spiritual matters until his encounter with Jesus. It is always wise to seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance and to humbly recognize that we might be the ones who have misunderstood what we thought to be the gospel truth.
Wise teachers will pray:
O teach me, Lord, that I may teach the precious things thou dost impart.
Frances Ridley Havergal, 1836-79.