Big Brother hits the Playground

Have you ever noticed what a little change in perspective can do? Three days in a mountain blizzard can make a breakfast bar look like a feast. A mission trip to Guatemala can make your home suddenly look like a mansion. You know what I mean.

The same thing can happen in scripture.

I was reading in Acts, and found myself struck by the story of Saul’s conversion. Of course, I’ve read it maybe a hundred times. I’ve always focused on what the event must have felt like to Saul. What it meant for him. But this last time through these words caught my attention. “Why are you persecuting me?”

(Acts 9:4) Me?

Wait a minute! Saul was persecuting Christians. He was on his way to Damascus to find Christians who had fled Jerusalem, and  drag them back to face trial for heresy.

And then Jesus says it again, as if Saul might not be listening. “I am Jesus, the ONE you are persecuting.”

I’ve always read the story from Saul’s perspective. But this time, suddenly, it occurred to me to read it from those believer’s perspective. Suppose YOU were hiding in Damascus. Suppose YOU heard that Saul was on the way. How would you be feeling? After all, Saul had successfully initiated Stephen’s stoning. I would have been afraid. I would be thinking about staying one step ahead of Saul. I would be urging my husband to pack up and get out.

Instead, something remarkable happens. In steps the BIG GUY.

Do you see it? Jesus, in this passage, takes on their persecution. Saul wasn’t persecuting believers anymore. He was persecuting Jesus. And Jesus — being Jesus after all — takes on their cause.

He steps in.

Like a big brother. Like an older defender, Jesus steps onto the playground and puts a stop to it all.

Doesn’t that change everything? Did you know that Jesus takes on your hurts? Your persecution? Your wounds? When something happens to his kids, it happens to him. He notices. He hurts. It’s personal.

To Jesus. It’s VERY personal.




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