In Acts 9 we learn of a man called Saul of Tarsus, one of the most religious men who ever lived. He could boast, “I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.” But what was this pious man doing?

Saul is so full of hatred toward Jesus that he determinedly persecuted the church of God, even outside Jewish territory. In Acts 9 he is on his way to Damascus, seeking to destroy the Lord’s people.

Consider God’s action toward this man who became the greatest Christian evangelist who ever lived.

Suddenly there shines round about him a light from heaven. What for? To confound him? To put him under guilt and condemnation? To destroy him? To pronounce wrath and judgment on him? No—but to announce that his iniquity is forgiven and his sins covered.

Picture Saul lying prostrate before the shining light and hearing the voice of Jesus, instead of hearing denunciation of a holy God for the path he was on. The words he heard are, “I am Jesus!” There was not a word of the wickedness of what he was doing. Why this? The one he persecuted was his greatest friend.

Beloved, this same Jesus offers us the same mercy. Deserving judgment and denunciation, we hear him say, “I am Jesus, your Redeemer.”

Thank him this day for the mercy he has shown you.

[Thoughts inspired by J.B. Stoney]