“What about reputation?”
Today’s reading: Acts 9:23-26 (NIV) 23After many days had gone by, the Jews conspired to kill him, 24but Saul learned of their plan. Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him. 25But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall.
26When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple.
Celebrities have a following and they also have a reputation. Does it matter which comes first? Perhaps Saul’s reputation prior to becoming a believer was daunting and his reputation after he began preaching was in question. The footnote in the Bible I use states that when Saul left Damascus preaching he went to Arabia (north) and was there for three years. I don’t think I ever picked up on that before. I look at Saul’s calling a little differently now knowing he spent three years with God before he began to fulfill his ministry.
Jews were still plotting to kill Saul even though he had developed a following, he had to be careful. Others risk their lives to help Saul stay out of reach of the Jewish people who wanted him dead. I can’t imagine living with a bounty on my head! I can’t even comprehend what that might be like. The fear he and his followers must have had caused issues for them all. God was in charge of this though, we know that, for Jesus spoke to Saul and Saul was changed. He had plans unknown for Saul, He had you and me in mind.
When he made his way to Jerusalem, he longed to be with the disciples who had lived and served with Jesus. His reputation impacted his acceptance and they were afraid to believe if his transformation was real or would he revert to his old ways.
You and I need to live our lives so that our reputations do not hinder the spread of the gospel. Reading and studying God’s word daily helps us to be able to share biblical examples with others. Truths such as creation, prophecy, chosen people, temple building, leadership of Kings, lineage of David, immaculate conception, birth, life, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The page is turning now; Saul has come to Jerusalem and will use his leadership skills and knowledge with the divine guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Dear Saul, I am so glad that I don’t have to look for an opening in the wall so my friends can bring me in to share the gospel message. Thank you Saul for doing that for us.
Your friends in Christ,
Dorothy Drago Brucks