The Chief of Sinners
“Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples.” (Acts 9:1 NIV)
The world around us seems to be going crazy, with senseless killings, hatred and injustice. It’s easy to get angry and vindictive, but that’s not what Jesus wants us to do. He wants us to pray, to love, to reach out, to go, to preach the good news. No one is beyond the reach of God’s love, though it may be difficult to reconcile this truth with the murderous actions of people who are responsible for the suffering of others, Christians included.
We have an example from Scripture of one such person. Before his conversion, Saul of Tarsus was a tormentor of Christians. He would enter their homes and drag them off to prison. The Christian church was so afraid of him that it took a while for many of the believers to accept the fact that he had also become a believer and, hence, a changed person. It took God actually speaking to Ananias in a vision for this servant of the Lord to go and lay hands on Saul so that he could receive his sight. Saul became the apostle Paul, the greatest of the apostles, though in his own words, he had been the chief of sinners.
Who knows how many more “chiefs of sinners” there are out in the world who need to hear the gospel and come to salvation? The world needs Jesus more than ever before. We need to ask God for a fresh baptism of his love so that we can intercede and reach out in the love of God, to see salvation come to many, even to the most unlikely people in the world.
Read Acts 9:1-31.