Are you listening?! – Vicar’s weekly thought

Are you listening?!

Whoa, it took quite some events to get Saul to listen – that is Saul who we now know as St Paul. He didn’t just see a blinding light in that famous story of the road to Damascus, but Jesus, gentle Jesus, spoke a few words to him…….“I Am Jesus, the One who you are persecuting” [1] . Saul, as he was then known, ‘was a man uttering threats with every breath and eager to kill the Lord’s followers’[1] – and he had a track record of ‘success’ in the killing!

Let’s spare a thought and prayer for the Christians in the world who are persecuted today for being nothing other than Christians. But let’s also ask ourselves if our hearts and minds are set in some way against Christ here in our country too….?

Anyway, Jesus gave Saul a few simple instructions, “Get up Saul, go into the city, and wait.”[1] That’s why I say gentle Jesus….. And another man, Ananias, had also heard simple words from Jesus. He was one of the Christians in Damascus who had doubtless heard that this man Saul was out to kill them, kill him! But the words were to go, call Saul ‘brother’, give him his sight back through prayer (Saul had been blinded by the light), and let Saul know Jesus had a job for him! In fact quite a job: Paul was to change the known world, even preaching to Caesar, although he was also to suffer a lot too. Jesus said to all his disciples, “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me
you can do nothing.”[2] Much fruitfulness was to follow from those 2 men hearing the simple words of Jesus, and doing what he said. Are you listening to the words of Jesus? I pray that you won’t need to be in Saul’s position before you start listening!
[1] You can read the whole story in Acts chapter 9.1-19 [2] John 15.5