As Paul was being led away to jail, He simply wanted his accusers to hear his story. It was no secret mission; he had shared the testimony many times. But it was important for Paul’s Jewish brothers to understand that he was sent to be a missionary for the gentiles. God’s plan had always been to share the Gospel to all nations. God knew that Paul would be a great choice to spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth. He was uniquely qualified as a Pharisee to know the law and as a sinner to know one cannot be redeemed by that law. It simply did not matter how good one did, they could never be perfect. Paul knew and grieved that point more than most.
So, Paul explained, his mission was to do what God told him to do. He loved his heritage but followed his calling to be the apostle to the gentiles. That was simply not a popular message. Jesus told the disciples at the beginning of Luke’s account that they would be His witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth. So, Paul was simply following that call. While it angered the local Jewish community, it changed the world.
We are called to do the same. As we are going, we are to make disciples. Jesus’ Great commission told us to do that. We are not the screeners; we do not get to tell God which folks are worthy of His Gospel. No, we are the messengers. We simply share the Gospel with those willing to listen. Others may think they know better than us whom God should choose, but, the Bible reminds us that God uses murderers, (Moses, David), Prostitutes, (Rahab) and scoundrels from all walks of life (Mike Smith) to spread his message of Love and forgiveness. Others may think they know better, but rest assured, they do not.
God Bless you
“Brothers and fathers, listen now to my defense.”
2 When they heard him speak to them in Aramaic, they became very quiet.
Then Paul said: 3 “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. I studied under Gamaliel and was thoroughly trained in the law of our ancestors. I was just as zealous for God as any of you are today. 4 I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison, 5 as the high priest and all the Council can themselves testify. I even obtained letters from them to their associates in Damascus and went there to bring these people as prisoners to Jerusalem to be punished.
6 “About noon as I came near Damascus, suddenly a bright light from heaven flashed around me. 7 I fell to the ground and heard a voice say to me, ‘Saul! Saul! Why do you persecute me?’
8 “‘Who are you, Lord?’ I asked.
“ ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting,’ he replied. 9 My companions saw the light, but they did not understand the voice of him who was speaking to me.
10 “‘What shall I do, Lord?’ I asked.
“ ‘Get up,’ the Lord said, ‘and go into Damascus. There you will be told all that you have been assigned to do.’ 11 My companions led me by the hand into Damascus, because the brilliance of the light had blinded me.
12 “A man named Ananias came to see me. He was a devout observer of the law and highly respected by all the Jews living there. 13 He stood beside me and said, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight!’ And at that very moment I was able to see him.
14 “Then he said: ‘The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from his mouth. 15 You will be his witness to all people of what you have seen and heard. 16 And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.’
17 “When I returned to Jerusalem and was praying at the temple, I fell into a trance 18 and saw the Lord speaking to me. ‘Quick!’ he said. ‘Leave Jerusalem immediately, because the people here will not accept your testimony about me.’
19 “‘Lord,’ I replied, ‘these people know that I went from one synagogue to another to imprison and beat those who believe in you. 20 And when the blood of your martyr[a] Stephen was shed, I stood there giving my approval and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.’
21 “Then the Lord said to me, ‘Go; I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’ ”