As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven.
(Acts 9:3 NKJV)
Many of us before we meet face-to-face with Jesus, are on our own road nearing Damascus. How I pray, as it was with Saul, it will be with you. That the light of God’s grace and mercy will shone all around you. Amen. With that said, I now invite you Into My HEART…
This that you are about to read was inspired by a sermon I heard from a Welsh preacher named (Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones) on Acts 9:6. As he read the previous five verses, when he got to verse three and I heard, ‘he came near Damascus’ God spoke and I heard: ‘Damascus was where my children were at; where I was at! If this man would’ve arrived here, death would have been waiting for him!’
Anyone acquainted with Saul of Tarsus knows he was very pious; a Pharisee. His background in the Law of Moses was brilliant as he studied at the feet of Gamaliel (a well known and respected Pharisee). He was, according to the election, a true Israelite of the tribe of Benjamin. He was also willing to disrupt and put an end to this, as he and many others saw it, rebellious group called the ‘followers of the Way.’
However, on his way to put a crushing blow to this missionary movement of truth and love, he encountered what can only be described as God’s saving grace and mercy. For Jesus Himself appeared before him and if liberty can be taken here, in a word, Jesus strongly persuaded Saul, by truth and revelation, that his current course was marred with doom but that there was another way Jesus had for him to go, in which would entail a great many things.
Concerning Acts 9:6: “So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” Upon meeting Jesus and all that had transpired on the road to Damascus, the conversion of Saul took place. And his conversion as it ought to be with us all, was underscored with trembling; that is, with a present fear.
Saul went onto acknowledge Jesus as Lord and to reveal that his heart; his will, was presented to Jesus to do with which he pleased in that he said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?”
Whenever we encounter Jesus in our lives, much like–but not necessarily–exactly to Saul’s experience, the brightness of the Lord’s holiness, righteousness, splendor and majesty ought to stop us in our tracks. That is, where we find ourselves at in life coming to a commanding halt! Let us revisit verses 1–5.
Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”
And he said, “Who are You, Lord?”
Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” (Acts 9:1-5 NKJV)
What grabs my attention here and with the manner the encounter goes and the dialogue that follows, Saul reacts in his speech as far as this “Lord” goes, in two distinct but transitional ways. When Saul is met on the road to Damascus ‘and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven’ he acknowledges that the one who is before him is someone of great distinction. This is the first time he says, “Lord.”
Now in verse 6, when he is made aware that this great light; this extravagant encounter, was with no other than this Jesus whom was crucified and whom Saul was persecuting. He for the second time says “Lord” but this time it had a very different meaning and tone to it.
These two uses of “Lord” in the Greek can be used in various meanings and tones. The Greek word used here for “Lord” being “kurios” pronounced (koo'-ree-os), carries several meanings within their different contexts. Two of which are (sir and master). Sir as in the acknowledgment of a man of distinction and Master as one to whom total ownership belongs and you do as they say!
Therefore, based upon the flow of the dialogue and the meanings this “Lord” carries, Saul first responded respectfully mind you, with ‘who are you sir?’ and upon Jesus answering him, in verse 6, Saul now responds to this Jesus who is not dead but very much Risen and also very much God, ‘Master, what do You want me to do?’
From the road to Damascus and the conversion of a man who was clearly at odds with the Lord of heaven and earth, we can learn this very necessary lesson: There is but one way to approach Jesus upon the revelation that He is who He is—with trembling, fear, reverence and acknowledgement that He is Lord, that is, Master and His will, not yours, be done.