The transformation of Saul was both immediate and amazing. This once zealous persecutor of the Jews was now completely and totally transformed to be a disciple and the last apostle. He by Ananias hand was healed and baptized as a believer. As a new believer, this very learned scholar immediately began to share the Gospel. He was not embraced in Jerusalem very well, either—But, Barnabas saw God’s touch and took Paul under his wing and the two of them started a 13 year journey together in Tarsus, Paul’s home town. The result was to bring the Gospel to the rest of the world!
Whether a new believer or a long time disciple, we must understand that God does transform his children. When we choose to follow him, we are predestined to be conformed to his image. Romans 8:28-30. He does not do “Christian In Name Only”!!! There is clearly a life change when we submit to him. Like Paul, we become new creations. We, like Paul, with God and other’s help are transformed to be like him. It is immediate, but it also takes the rest of one’s life. That is why we all need a Barnabas. We also need to be a Barnabas to others. It is a journey not an event. But it is one that that God both wants and leads his children to.
God Bless You
That was not taken well by Jewish leadership. In fact, their prize enforcer quickly became their prime target for death. They hunted him in Damascus, but God used the other followers to help him escape. He went to Jerusalem and started preaching and debating there
Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. 20 At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. 21 All those who heard him were astonished and asked, “Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?” 22 Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah.
23 After many days had gone by, there was a conspiracy among the Jews to kill him, 24 but Saul learned of their plan. Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him. 25 But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall.
26 When 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. 27 But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus. 28 So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord. 29 He talked and debated with the Hellenistic Jews, but they tried to kill him. 30 When the believers learned of this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus.