Read: Acts 26:12-21
Recounting his story again, we read that Paul told King Agrippa how he had come to change his allegiance. Paul’s conversion story (Acts 9) functions as a platform to lift up Jesus Christ. For Paul, there is no experience quite like the Damascus Road ordeal. Jesus knocked Paul to the dirt, and then told him to stand up commissioning him to be a missionary to the Gentiles and his own people. For Paul, his encounter of Jesus on the way to Damascus was etched deeply on his mind and heart. Any hostility that Paul felt towards the early disciples was removed. Jesus blindsided Paul, and this persecuting Pharisee was now crawling in the dirt before the resurrected Christ. Jesus certainly has a way of putting things is perspective doesn’t he? I mean after all, Paul in his pre-Jesus days was prideful, arrogant and full of bitterness that erupted at the very sound of the word Jesus. Paul, the distinguished student of Torah, and dignified Pharisee was reduced to a worm as he wiggled around in the dirt in the hot Damascus sun. Where pride and hate reigned, Jesus used Paul’s dirt bathing incident to change Paul’s perspective. I am also reminded of God’s creative work in Genesis 1 and 2. For we read in the beginning that God created man out of the dust of the earth. Well, here in Acts 9, as Paul encountered the resurrected Lord, we see Saul/Paul being re-formed. Out of the dust of the earth Saul would become Paul, the missionary. But, notice it took the time in the dirt, being reshaped, reformed for Paul to change. Sometimes, we too must endure times of reshaping and reformation. The goal of spiritual formation as Paul would tell us in Galatians 4:19, is to have Christ formed in us.