search instagram arrow-down
Charles Johnston

Recent Posts

Blog Stats

Follow Now That I'm Catholic on

Now That I’m Catholic Facebook


Top Posts & Pages

Past articles

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 19,622 other subscribers

Follow me on Twitter

The Bible In A Year: Day 123

1 Samuel 19-20
Psalm 123
Acts 9

1 Samuel 19-20

Saul decided to get rid of his David problem by having him killed but his son Jonathan intercedes for him and talks his father down, and so David returns to the palace and everything is fine for a bit. Then another war breaks out and David wins more acclaim due to his battlefield success and Saul try’s to kill him with a spear, so he flees. Even Saul’s daughter, David’s wife, helps him escape when they send assassins to their house.

It’s all a bit much for David, who’s probably wishing he was still just tending sheep in the hills by Bethlehem right now. He flees to Samuel and tells him everything that’s happening.

Saul is relentless and sends people after david but they keep joining him and Samuel in prophesying, so Saul goes himself and he enters into some kind of religious ecstasy and doesn’t harm David.

That’s too close for David’s liking though, so he flees from that place too. He goes to Jonathan and after being assured that they’re still blood brothers he sets up some cloak and dagger signs to signal David if it’s safe to return to the king’s court. But it’s not safe after all and David has to go on the run.

Acts 9

Saul is said to have been “breathing murder” against the church and that is quite the visual. His hatred was so strange that even his breath is filled with hatred and violence against the Church. He was an extremely devout man, and in his defense, if Jesus wasn’t exactly who he said he was, then Saul would’ve been completely justified in his rooting out of their blasphemy. But since Jesus isn’t a liar, or a lunatic, but is in fact the Lord, then he’s doing exactly what Gamaliel warned against and he’s directly opposing God.

He gets the high priest to give him arrest orders for Christians in Damascus so that he can drag them back to Jerusalem for a kangaroo court and then either stoning or imprisonment.

It’s at this very moment that Saul of tarsus, a man so well aquatinted with the law and zealous in his application of the law, meets Jesus Christ and becomes aquatinted with Grace. This contrast of grace and law, first encountered by Saul on the road to Damascus will dominate his letters and sermons for the rest of his life.

Jesus appears to him and doesn’t ask why he’s persecuting his children, his followers, his disciples or his church. He says “why are you persecuting me?” Because through baptism we become incorporated into the body of Christ.

Believers who respond to God’s word and become members of Christ’s Body, become intimately united with him: “In that body the life of Christ is communicated to those who believe, and who, through the sacraments, are united in a hidden and real way to Christ in his Passion and glorification.” This is especially true of Baptism, which unites us to Christ’s death and Resurrection, and the Eucharist, by which “really sharing in the body of the Lord, . . . we are taken up into communion with him and with one another.”

CCC 790

His companions here the voice too but they see anything, and after a brief conversation Saul discovers that he’s blind. He gets taken to Damascus to await further instructions. So this is a complete reversal of fortunes, Saul initially set off for Damascus to lead Christians back in chains, but now he’s being led by the hand into Damascus.

After being healed of his blindness and baptized, Saul goes to the synagogue and proclaims Jesus is truly the Christ. This is confusing to the people there because they were awaiting his arrival to arrest the people who were doing what he himself is now doing. Let’s just say this didn’t go over very well and they planned to kill Saul.

When he gets back to Jerusalem he tries to get in with the disciples but they were all afraid of him, with good reason. After Barnabas vouches for him they take him in and he preaches for a while in Jerusalem until a plot to kill him is hatched there too. They send him off to tarsus, his hometown, and he stayed there until summoned to Antioch a few chapters from now.

The narrative shifts back to Peter for a time, and he’s down in Joppa which is a coastal town near modern day Tel Aviv. He goes to the house of a woman who just died, and by speaking to her and commanding that she get up she came back to life. This is all more evidence that the power Jesus gave the apostles was to do all he had done, including raising the dead, as evidence that the messianic age had come.

Tomorrow’s Readings:
1 Samuel 21-22
Psalm 124
Acts 10

Leave a Reply
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: