He asked, “Who are you, Lord?” The reply came,
“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.”
This bit of conversation took place as Saul was on the road to Damascus. He was full of indignation and zeal to persecute those he thought of as heretics. He had spent his life convinced of his righteous standing with God. In one sentence, Jesus lays bare his arrogance, pride and complete misunderstanding.
But, the vengeful God that Saul had proclaimed was not the complete God. So after three days of blindness God offered Saul mercy. In the most painful moment of Saul’s life, he received grace.
Saul had to be brought low before he was willing to or capable of seeing his need for grace. Grace starts with a crisis. We must recognize we need it desperately before it’s magnitude can be seen. On our own, we trend toward self-righteousness. We are sure God is on ‘our side’ and that we are morally superior. It is time to remember There is no one who is righteous, not even one (Romans 3:10).
In this time of crisis in our country, we need to look deeply for our own prejudice and blindness. Why did any man feel justified to kneel on the neck of another until he was dead? What privilege do we carry so completely and unconsciously that we cannot see the struggles of another?
May we each approach the throne in an attitude of humility and penitence so that the scales may fall from our eyes. May God’s grace touch us all.