Paul Sees the Light
© 1999 Kurt Hunter
A long, long time ago, when the Christian church was just starting, the followers of Jesus, the Christians, preached wherever they could. On street corners or in the temples, they would talk about Jesus to anyone who would listen.
Not everyone believed the Christians, when they said that Jesus was the son of God, though. Many Jews believed that the Christians were preaching terrible lies. One of these Jews was a man named Saul. He tried very hard to be a good Jew and to do what God wanted him to.
Saul would get very mad, when he heard the Christians preaching. The lies must be stopped, he thought.
He went to the temple and talked to the chief priest. He got permission from the priest to send any Christians that he found to prison.
He sent many Christians to prison in Jerusalem. Soon the Christians were very frightened of Saul.
Saul wouldn’t stop with Jerusalem, though, he decided to go to the city of Damascus to stop the Christians there too.
He took a couple of friends and they started the long walk to Damascus. Suddenly there was a brilliant light from the sky. Saul fell to the ground in terror. A voice said, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” “Who are you?” Saul asked weakly. “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting,” said the voice. “Go on to the city and you will be told what you are to do.”
Saul’s friends were shocked. They had heard the voice, but saw no one there. Saul got up from the ground. He opened his eyes, but he could see nothing. The other men led Saul on to Damascus to the house where he would stay.
For three days, Saul couldn’t eat or drink. He spent most of his time praying.
In Damascus there was also a Christian man named Ananias. God spoke to Ananias and told him to go to Saul. Ananias had heard of the terrible things that Saul had done to other Christians. He didn’t want to go to Saul, but God said that he had great plans for Saul, so Ananias did what God asked him to.
When Ananias met Saul, he told him that Jesus had sent him so that Saul’s sight would be restored and he would be filled with God’s spirit. Immediately, Saul could see again. Saul was amazed.
Saul wanted to be baptized right away, so they went to the river and Ananias baptized Saul.
Now Saul couldn’t stop talking about Jesus. He was as excited about Jesus now as he had been angry at the Christians before. He told everyone he saw what had happened to him and that Jesus was the son of God.
Everyone who knew him was amazed. They couldn’t believe that this was the same person who had been sending Christians to prison.
The Jews that had helped Saul against the Christians couldn’t believe what had happened. They plotted to kill Saul and watched the city gates day and night to make sure he couldn’t escape.
The Christian heard about these plans against Saul and came up with their own plan. They lowered him over the city wall in a basket and he escaped and returned to Jerusalem.
From Jerusalem, Saul traveled all over the world teaching about Jesus. And from then on he was called Paul, because he was not the same man any more.