Saul Encounters Light of the World on Damascus Road
Saul continues his persecution against the First Century Church and encounters the Light of the World. Welcome to the Acts of the Apostles Bible Study, Acts 9: 1 -5, is our main reference for today.
Saul had been arresting men and women carrying them off to prison. Now he plans to intensify and take his “threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord” to higher heights, Acts 8:3; 9:1-2.
Saul has obtained letters of authority from the High Priest in Jerusalem to the High Priests of Damascus. These letters conferred authority, on Saul, to arrest and to transport Christians bound from Damascus to Jerusalem for trial and punishment.
Saul was traveling to Damascus and almost at his destination when he had an encounter with Jesus Christ. As he journeyed near to Damascus a light from heaven, which was Jesus, shone on him. Simultaneously, Jesus asked him, “Saul, Saul, why” do you persecute me?
“And suddenly, there shined round about him a light from heaven,” Acts 9:3.
It’s instructive that while Saul did not see anyone he recognized the voice as the Lord’s. For Saul asked, who are you Lord? Jesus replied, “I am Jesus whom” you persecutes; “it is hard for” you “to kick against the pricks,” Acts 9:5. The Lord declared to Saul that He is Jesus. The name of our Lord is Jesus Christ.
This was not just a “light from heaven”, but the Light of the World, Jesus Christ himself, Acts 9:3. Saul was aware that he had just made contact with the Light of the World for he enquired of his identity. When you make contact with Jesus, everything changes your sight, your worship, your focus and your purpose. Even your current posture will change.
Whether Saul wanted to or not, when Jesus shined on him, he had to worship. Therefore, he fell to the ground, on his face, Acts 9:4. Every knee shall bow and every tongue must confess Jesus Christ is Lord. Now was Saul’s time to worship and confess to Jesus.
Jesus That Extraordinary Light From Heaven
Saul’s experience with the Light from Heaven was an extraordinary one for the Light from heaven was no ordinary light. Once Saul saw that Light he started to worship until Jesus ordered him to “arise”. He was on the ground, on his face, the entire duration of his conversation with Jesus, Acts 9:4-6.
It was almost noon when Jesus shone on Saul. However, the light from heaven was so bright it out shone the sun.
For us to see another light during the day – and especially at noon- that light has to shine much brighter that the sun. Noon is when there are the least shadows around because the sun is almost directly overhead.
This intensely bright light would also account why Saul alone was blind. The light did not shine on others just Saul, Acts 9:8. For the Bible says, “there shined round about him (Saul) a light from heaven,” Acts 9:3.
Saul alone was blinded because he alone saw the light, Acts 9:7. Saul was blinded not because he looked into the light but because the glory of God was too much for him to behold in his sinful state. The others heard the voice speaking to Saul but did not see anyone but they did not see the light.
The Lord identified himself by name for He said, “I am Jesus,” Acts 9 :5. Jesus by this meeting with Saul changed how Saul perceived Jesus.
In closing, similar to Saul ensure you have a personal relationship with that Light for that Light is the only one who can give eternal life.
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life,” John 8:12.