Saul in Damascus and Jerusalem
Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. 20 At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. 21 All those who heard him were astonished and asked, “Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?” 22 Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah.
23 After many days had gone by, there was a conspiracy among the Jews to kill him, 24 but Saul learned of their plan. Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him. 25 But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall.
26 When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus. 28 So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord. 29 He talked and debated with the Hellenistic Jews, but they tried to kill him.
Points to Ponder
Paul was such an efficient Christian. He wasted no time and started preaching the name he once violently spoke against. Paul was the chosen instrument of Christ, and for that reason, Paul has to suffer much. However, his radical faith had just begun, and he soon would turn the world upside down.
Paul was known to be a threat to the church. Many disciples were still skeptical about his conversion. Only Barnabas received him, brought him to the apostles, and advocated for him. Like Ananias, Barnabas received Paul as a brother. There’s no Paul without Ananias and Barnabas. There’s also no Ed (me) without my sister who invited me to church and the brother who shepherded me with longsuffering.
Who are your Ananias and Barnabas?