His story is remarkable…from critic and persecutor to apostle and missionary. Now that is flexing! Yet there is a part of the story that is often overlooked. As the scales fall from his eyes (symbolism of going from blindness to fully seeing), he begins teaching with authority about the story of God revealed in and through Jesus our Christ. He teaches in the synagogue and people are taken aback with his words, his faith, his ability to change.
And the Jewish leaders are baffled. How can this be? And their response? Acts 9:23 states, After many days had gone by, the Jews conspired to kill him. Why? Why would they resort to this type of violence? This isn’t an issue about their ethnicity, this is the challenge of humanity…we are prone to isolate, retaliate and even use deadly force to keep our way, the way. This one who was like them is suddenly not and the answer is to get rid of the bad apple.
Throughout history, we see this. You meet a person getting sober and their ‘best friends’ suddenly want nothing to do with them. You go through a divorce and suddenly close friends become distant memories. You are widowed and those couple’s friends suddenly don’t have time. The list is quite endless. Sometimes we bail because we fear the change; sometimes we bail because we don’t want to see ourselves with someone like that. And when Saul flexes, those like him want rid of him. For the challenge is much too great for them to face their own inflexibility.