The Head of the Body – Acts 9
Jesus is the head of the Church and the Church is His body.
So Paul tells the Colossians,
“And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.” (Colossians 1:18 NIV11)
It’s an incredible connection to make. The Lord of the Church is also connected to its members in a profound and special way. But how did Paul reach this conclusion?
You’ll remember that in chapter 8 of Acts we left Saul seeking to destroy the early Church by seeking out its members and locking them up. Full of this same zeal Saul is heading towards Damascus when a bright light from heaven flashed all around him. What happens next cannot be underestimated. It may well be, after Jesus’s death, the biggest turning point in the history of the Church. Listen to how Luke tells it to us,
“He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”” (Acts 9:4–6)
For a highly schooled Jew like Saul of Tarsus a light and voice from heaven could come from only one source – the LORD God who had spoken to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses. This was the voice of the very God who Saul was such a faithful servant of but the opening line stunned him,
“Saul, Saul, why do you persecute *me*?”
The only possible conclusion is that Saul was wrong about who he was listening to and so he asks,
“Who are you Lord?”
The answer is stunning,
“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.”
Saul’s life is in the balance here. Firstly the voice knows him. Secondly he has been persecuting the voice. Thirdly, the voice – divine, powerful, terrifying – is the voice of Jesus. Jesus is connected to these Christians and Saul has been making this Lord his enemy!
God is gracious to Saul. Ananias is incredibly faithful to go and show love in obedience to God’s revelation. Saul becomes a preacher immediately and argues for exactly what he had been opposing – that Jesus is the long awaited Messiah of the Jews. This message would echo through Paul’s days and because of that – through the whole Mediterranean, the Roman Empire, and through God’s goodness, – through the Millenia to us.
What do we learn?
Don’t despise the Church. She is loved by Jesus. Indeed, connected to Him. Persecution continues but whatever is thrown at believers (even today) they cannot be separated from their Lord and Saviour Jesus. He will remain the head of the body.
“Dear Lord Jesus, we thank You that You have formed all who call on You into one body. We thank You that You have loved us and redeemed us. Help us to love our brothers and sisters. Help us to remember the persecuted and to long for the day when we will see the unity of Your Church in Your presence in glory. Amen.”
You might like to check out www.vom.com.au for information about the persecuted Church today.
Grace and peace,
#newlifeisfoundhere #readingfornewlife #Acts