[After telling about hearing the voice on the road to Damascus, Paul continued his defense before the Roman governor, Festus, and his guests, by detailing how he met Jesus as the risen Lord:]
"'Who are you, lord?' I asked.
"And the Lord replied, 'I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting. Now get to your feet! For I have appeared to you to appoint you as my servant and witness. Tell people that you have seen me, and tell them what I will show you in the future. And I will rescue you from both your own people and the Gentiles. Yes, I am sending you to the Gentiles to open their eyes, so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God's people, who are set apart by faith in me.'"
— Acts 26:15-18 NLT
Paul called this experience the time God chose "to reveal his Son in me" and to give him the ministry to "proclaim the Good News about Jesus to the Gentiles."* This experience completely changed Paul's life and the focus of his ministry. While he remained steadfastly devoted to God, he went from opposing Jesus to proclaiming him. He went from being hostile to Jesus in order to defend Judaism to sharing Jesus with his fellow Jews and taking the Good News to Gentiles who had never heard of Jesus.** Some of us were raised to know Jesus. Others of us have discovered him as a new blessing. All of us, however, need to live new lives of fresh dedication to him as Lord as well as receiving him as our Savior!
Almighty God and gracious Father, thank you for sending Jesus to demonstrate your grace, save us from our sins, and open our eyes to a new way of life. As I pursue Jesus, I open my heart to be changed to be more like him as the Spirit works to conform me and transform me.^ I thank you for this grace, and I pledge to partner with the Spirit as I seek to become more like Jesus, in whose name I pray. Amen.