Well we could wish that none of us hears those first words from Jesus Christ that Paul heard: “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”
Then his question: “Who are you, Lord?” As if in the middle of a search and approaching the discovery but needing the final and full revelation.
The Lord’s reply: “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.”
How awful. Oh for a different path of life that could have avoided hearing those words–those damning, those excoriating words that would burn in his soul from that day until his martyrdom. “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.”
But then the next question of Paul allows us a glimpse of his honor and integrity. Even here within seconds of the revelation of Jesus to him he asks the question that everyone ever since this encounter must ask, “Lord, what do you want me to do?”
At this point we must be careful. Yes, he has met the Lord, and yes, he has accepted that revelation of Jesus. After that, however, what Jesus tells Paul deliberately withholds any instruction other than, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
That’s all. Nothing about the nations, nothing about suffering for His name, nothing other than go into the city and wait.
There we turn next, to the home of Judas, to the three days before the arrival of Ananias.
Before turning to Paul in the home of Judas, blind and fasting, waiting, there is another scene. This one is dripping with irony, fascination, awe, and imagination’s richest efforts.
The scene is Paul, the hothead persecutor, the one whose arrival struck fear into Jew and Christian alike, the leading and raging man obsessed with ethnic cleansing of Christians–the long-awaited and long-feared arrival of this man. The picture we have is not what was expected. Blinded, broken, humbled, cast down, stumbling, with his entourage in shambles, several of them handing Paul forward step by unsteady step to the house of Judas on the street called Straight. How the mighty are fallen, but how the Lord will use those whose weakness reminds them of His strength.