Eaten up with zeal and determination, the young Saul of Tarsus rampaged through Jerusalem in a murderous rage, seeking out believers in Yahshua to persecute, imprison and even destroy them. Confident that he was doing the will of Yahweh, he obtained a commission from the chief priests to extend his tyranny to Damascus, and marched off with power and authority. The story of how Yahshua met Saul on the highway and turned his life around, is a well-known one, as is the question with which He challenged the young man. “Saul, Saul,” said Yahshua, “why do you continue to persecute Me [to harass and trouble and molest Me]?” [Acts 9:4 Classic Amplified Bible]. When Saul asked who was speaking He replied, ““I am [Yahshua]. I am the One you are trying to hurt.” [Acts 9:5 International Children’s Bible]. How closely Yahshua associates with the suffering of His people! I’ve always been warmed by this loving expression of His involvement.
It is sobering to think that Saul was persecuting Yahshua by his zealous determination to do something that he considered was lawfully right. It makes me wonder if I ever hurt Yahshua by doing something I consider to be my duty. Is it possible that when I am obstinate and self-willed, set upon my own way or ambition, that I hurt Him? Oswald Chambers makes the startling statement that, “Every time we stand on our own rights and insist that this is what we intend to do, we are persecuting [Yahshua].” Saul was determined to serve Yahweh by going his own way and doing what he considered was his duty. He hurt Yahshua!
Do I ever find myself charging forward, wanting to do things ‘my way’? Oh, yes! It’s devastating to think that this is a way of persecuting Yahshua. If doing something I consider to be my ‘religious duty’ hurts one of Yahweh’s children, then it has not been done in the spirit of meekness and love – and the end result is that Yahshua hurts. Let me consider all that I do today in the light of the One who has already been severely wounded.
Photo by marinas32
In my thought entitled ‘The Waymaker’ I quoted some information purporting to come from Egypt’s Antiquities Ministry. I have since discovered that this was an item of false news and sincerely apologise for misleading you. That article has now been amended to remove that information.