Dead Serious, but Dead Wrong

by Stan Mitchell
rabbis.jpg“… a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee, as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless” (Philippians 3:5,6).
One moment there was the sound of a family sleeping in peace, the next, an explosion of wood fragments splintering, and glass shattering. The rush of hob-nailed boots, troops fanning out across the courtyard, into bedrooms, securing positions, followed this. In seconds, the occupants went from deepest slumber to prisoners, handcuffed and being led away to prison cells.
Who were they? Terrorists? Bank robbers? Drug dealers?
No. They were Christians.
In addition, the leader of the troops was no secret police lieutenant; he was a rabbi, albeit a rather zealous one, intent on destroying the new Christian movement. His name was Saul, rising star of his people, a man who loved his nation, loved his God, was utterly sincere in his actions. He was zealous, enthusiastic … and dead wrong.
Make no mistake, zeal is important, but so is accurate knowledge. Saul thought the reports of Jesus’ resurrection were a hoax; he believed Jesus himself was an imposter; he thought his Old Testament scriptures pointed to a military leader, not a humble, crucified servant. He would have to restudy those scriptures; he thought many things sincerely, but he was sincerely wrong.
It would take a bright light and an encounter with that same Jesus to change his ignorant zeal into an informed service. On the road to Damascus, he changed from dangerous zealot to dedicated disciple. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

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