Welcome to Monday Manna. The purpose of this meme is to get together and get to know Christ more through His Word. The first and third Monday of each month, anyone who wishes can post their thoughts on a verse Joanne introduced at her blog the Thursday before. It doesn't have to be a long post -- just a few thoughts, a picture you feel helps express it, a poem, a short story, a devotional. Today's verse is:
You will be his witness to all men of what you have seen and heard. (Acts 22:15 NIV)
"About noon as I came near Damascus, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around me. I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, 'Saul! Saul! Why do you persecute me?' " 'Who are you, Lord?' I asked. " 'I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting,' he replied. My companions saw the light, but they did not understand the voice of him who was speaking to me. "'What shall I do, Lord?' I asked. "'Get up,' the Lord said, 'and go into Damascus. There you will be told all that you have been assigned to do.' My companions led me by the hand into Damascus, because the brilliance of the light had blinded me. "A man named Ananias came to see me. He was a devout observer of the law and highly respected by all the Jews living there. He stood beside me and said, 'Brother Saul, receive your sight!' And at that very moment I was able to see him. "Then he said: 'The God of our fathers has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from his mouth. You will be his witness to all men of what you have seen and heard." (Acts 22:6-15 NIV)
I think had I experienced anything close to this dramatic (and traumatic) I would certainly be telling the world what had happened to me: "I was blind, but now I see!" and "Jesus spoke to me and told me to get ready for instructions on what I would be assigned to do."
It can so often be challenging to apply scripture to our daily lives in this modern world. It's been a long time since Jesus walked the earth, and I'm pretty sure that if someone today announced a similar experience to the world, they would not be taken seriously.
Can you imagine Paul's utter confusion and dismay growing into fear and disbelief at what just happened? Jesus had just told him to make a complete 180 turn in his life. Not only that, in order to obey, Paul was potentially risking his own life!
All those relatives and friends of people Paul had ordered killed were probably more than willing to stone him right about now, that he dared to show his face.
But he obeyed. In spite of his fear. In spite of his probable belief that his certain death was emanant. What he had experienced was just too amazing to keep to himself. What had happened to Paul was so inimaginable that it could only have been Christ speaking to him. To be struck blind and then healed was so far beyond description or understanding that Paul really had no choice but to do what Jesus bid him to do.
Annanais goes on to tell Paul, 'And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.' (Acts 20:16)
What are we waiting for?