Reading: Acts 7: 55-60
Verse 58: …and the witnesses laid their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul.
Oddly enough, in the middle of our passage today, the author mentions that Saul is there. That people laid their clothes at his feet would indicate that maybe Saul is “in charge” of the stoning of Stephen. He may not cast a stone, but he is there to make sure the job is done right. Saul is becoming the leading figure in the efforts to persecute and eliminate this fledgling church. In Stephen we find one absolutely willing to die for his faith. Saul is just as passionate and dedicated to upholding Mosaic Law as he and many others interpret it. Just as much as Stephen loves Jesus, Saul hates Him. It is quite a contrast, but it is a contrast we can relate to. While we may never “hate” Jesus, at times our lives may look like we certainly don’t love Him.
As Saul’s story unfolds, his reputation for attacking the church and all followers of the Way grows to the point that the mere mention of his name brings shudders to all believers. It is quite the shock to the young church when Saul suddenly becomes Paul just a couple of chapters later in Acts 9. Many asked the question people may ask if us: him? How could this man who killed and arrested so many Christians become one of Jesus’ greatest apostles and champions? How could this man so filled with hate become so filled with love? Jesus.
Once Jesus got ahold of Saul and changed him into Paul, he was fully dedicated to the good news. This leads us to ask, what about me? Maybe we do not need the 180° change that Saul needed, maybe we do. But let us ask, what about me? What would Jesus like to change in me? If Jesus could change Saul into such a way, imagine what He could do with us. May it be so.