“If the resurrection is true, then everything will be alright.”
- Tim Keller
This Sunday we talked about Jesus’ appearance to Saul on the road to Damascus. Jesus’ appearances after the resurrection display the true character of God. We look into the interaction that changed Saul from a persecutor of the church to a disciple and teacher of Christ’s kingdom.
Saul was zealous for the law, a Jew of Jews. He acted upon the law and hunted the men and women who followed Christ’s teachings. We discussed what can be referred to as Certainty Blindness - the condition in which you’re so convinced by your own idea that you cannot see and understand reality. Jesus lovingly confronts Saul’s bad theology.
Jesus calls out to him in the form of a light from Heaven. This is a call of love and understanding. We see Jesus use this in talking to Martha, as she frets over work to be done. We see Jesus use this in calling to Jerusalem as he is sent to crucifixion. There is so much passion and it’s being directed the wrong way. Saul is missing the point. Saul wants so badly to live for the Lord and he is missing the point entirely.
“Why are you persecuting me?”
Jesus calls straight to the motivation. Why are you doing this? The why has serious implications for the what and the how. “It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” God is pushing Saul in the right direction and he is resisting.
There are three forms of certainty blindness we often fall prey to.
We are blinded by religious ideology.
- We twist God’s word to make Him out to be what our religious beliefs want him to be.
- We twist God’s word to make Him out to be what our political beliefs want him to be.
- We twist God’s word to make Him out to be what our personal beliefs want him to be.
What if we’re missing the whole point? What if we’re so focused on making an answer for ourselves we’re not giving God the space to answer our questions for Himself? We create a god in our own image and we call him Jesus.
“Who are you? What should I do?”
These are questions we should ask in everything. He receives his answer through Ananias. God tells Saul through Ananias that he is “The righteous One” and Saul is his “chosen instrument.” Saul is instructed to go and be baptized, to call on His name. Saul has been put in the perfect place to do the work of the Lord. He is a Jew with knowledge of the Torah, in a city with a large population of Christ followers, with roads leading in all directions.
God positions us perfectly to use our strengths. Even after receiving these answers, Paul says later that his goal is to know and obey God. We will not fully know God on this side of Heaven, but our goal remains to know Him and obey Him. Instead of getting caught up in our own ideas may we ask these questions and wait and listen for God’s answer. May the righteous one of God correct our unrighteous ideas.
- If you want to listen to this sermon, you can do so here
- For some facts not found in the sermon, check out our Cutting Room Floor post on Instagram. You can find us at @canvaswinc