Giddy Up, Horsey! Or Not.
Bullies. We’ve all encountered them at some point in our lives. These are the lost scoundrels who, for whatever reason, enjoy picking on others who they think are smaller, ‘“weaker,” quiet, afraid, and not able or willing to defend themselves. I’ll be the first to admit that I MIGHT have had a dream or two (or 100) about pushing a certain bully off of a certain Empire State Building (Jesus is love and preaches non-violence, kids! Just say “no.”). Although there are people who laugh at the misfortunes of others, they, like any of us, can be changed. Regardless of the bad things that you’ve done, or how long you’ve done them for, God can change you. You may have said the worst of the worst, robbed a bank, or even killed someone-God can change you. No one, and I mean NO ONE is beyond the reach of God; he can transform every single one of us, from the inside out (except for maybe the guy who thought selling sugarless Krispy Kreme donuts was a good idea; that, my friends, might be unforgivable…HAHA…just kidding). What happens when one of God’s greatest enemies becomes one of his closest friends? This brings us to the story of Saul in the Bible.
Saul, for lack of a better term, was a grade-A nitwit. He hated Jesus Christ (who had died and already rose from the dead at this point), he hated anyone who claimed to believe in and follow Jesus Christ, and it was his mission to torture and kill all Christians, as well as wipe the Christian church off the face of the earth (what malarky!). Saul went as far as going to the high priest and obtaining letters to arrest all followers of Jesus Christ in the city of Damascus (you’re sipping a little too much Hatorade right now, Saul. Simmer, down, Junior. Just simmer down). One night, Saul and his minions, I mean, companions, were traveling on the road to Damascus by horse (you know those horses weren’t winning any Kentucky Derbys; I’m just saying), when they were suddenly struck from their horses and onto their keisters by a bright light. As Saul fell to the ground, a voice suddenly asked “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” (Acts 9:4 (KJV)). Saul naturally wanted to know who was talking to him, and the voice said: “I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks” (Acts 9:5 (KJV)). Uh-oh, Saul! In the words of Ricky Ricardo from “I Love Lucy,” Saul, you’ve got some ‘plaining to do! Saul trembled in fear (let’s be real, here, he wet himself), and realized that he had just met his maker…literally. Saul snapped out of it, asked Jesus what he would have him to do, and Jesus told him to go to the city of Damascus for further instructions (that’s a good boy). At this point, Saul could not see, and his buddies, who could not see Jesus, but heard his voice, led Saul to Damascus. Our man sat like a slug without sight in Damascus for 3 days-no food, no water, no sight. Jesus called on a man named Ananias to touch Saul and restore his sight. Ananias knew who Saul was and knew about his terrible reputation, but he listened to Jesus and visited Saul. Upon Ananias’s arrival, he said the following:
Acts 9:17 (KJV): Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. (Acts: 9:17 (KJV)).
Saul immediately received his sight back (Mommy! I can see!), he received food and drink, he regained his strength, and he became one of Jesus’s greatest followers. Jesus Christ also changed Saul’s name to Paul; Saul is now Paul the Apostle! It’s amazing to see how God changed an evil, vile, horrible person like Saul into Paul the Apostle. As I’ve mentioned a time or two before, God can change anyone at any time! Hallelujah! This story is too juicy not to think about in modern times. I HAD to rewrite it! Remix! NOTE: I will be utilizing modern-day language, technology and ways of living in this story, as we’re picturing this happening in the present day.
Giddy Up, Horsey! Or Not.
Biblical Reference: Acts 9:1-19 (KJV)
Saul (talking to himself like a Looney Tune): Christians, be gone! I can’t stand those Christians. They’re always talking about Jesus: Jesus performed miracles, Jesus healed the sick, Jesus died on the Cross, Jesus rose from the dead and is preparing a place in Heaven for his children. Blady, blady, blah! I just want to crush the Christian church like a cockroach! Splat! Where’s my Raid?! The high priest has given me permission to arrest all of those Jesus-following, delusional weirdos; they’re all coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs! I’m going to kill them where they stand; their voices shall be silenced forever! *Saul proceeds to do a 5 minute Dracula-style laugh; full with the stank breath that could kill millions with just one whiff-OH MY GOSH!).
Saul’s Companions: Saul! Let’s go, man! You’re always sitting around, staring into space! It’s time for us to go to Damascus and arrest the Christians. I want to get back before the game starts. Cubs vs White Sox! Crosstown classic, baby! Let’s get it!
Saul: I’m ready, my man! Let’s go!
*Saul and his companions travel by horse (they’re country folks, everyone) to Damascus to arrest all of the Christians there, when they’re suddenly knocked off their horses (just hold your horses!) by a blinding, bright light*
JESUS CHRIST: Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
Saul: Who is that? Is someone there? I know that I just heard someone’s voice. I know it wasn’t y’all (referring to his buddies), because the voice was too beautiful sounding. Y’all sound like nails on a chalkboard, begging to be chucked out the window (SOS! Please save us! Help meeeee!!!).
JESUS CHRIST: I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
Saul (clearly much warmer now and shaking): Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness. Lo…Lo…Lord? I’m sorry. I’m sorry for everything. Please forgive me. I’m an idiot. I’m a clown (and not the funny kind), and you deserve to have your way with me. What would you have me to do?
JESUS CHRIST: Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
*Saul is as blind as a bat, and his buddies are speechless (they hear Jesus’s voice, but can’t see him). Saul’s buddies take him to Damascus immediately, where Saul does not have his sight, food, or drink for three days*
JESUS CHRIST: Ananias?
Ananias: I am here, Lord.
JESUS CHRIST: Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,
Ananias: Lord, I’ve heard all about this Saul cat. He’s bad news. He has been running around Jerusalem, murdering your people, trying to destroy your church, and disrespecting you at every turn. Lord, that man has said that he hates you more than once. He even bribed the high priest into giving him permission to arrest those of us who follow you, Lord. That man is the Devil.
JESUS CHRIST: Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.
Ananias: You’re the boss, Lord. I’m on my way now.
*Ananias pays Saul a visit and places his hands on Saul…in a non-violent manner*
Ananias: Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.
Saul: I can see! I can see! I’m so pretty! I’m so pretty! Praise the Lord! Thank you, Jesus! God is good!
*Saul is baptized and officially becomes one of Jesus’s followers. Saul is fed, given plenty of water to drink, and is better than ever!*
Saul: Woo! That meal hit the spot! A brother was looking like the lost skeleton from the Addams Family for a second there. I look good, I feel good, and I’m stronger than ever! GOD FLEX (Ooooh! Look at those muscles!).
*Jesus changed Saul’s name to Paul, and Paul went on to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ until his dying day*