Posts Tagged ‘Saul’

future exitDisclaimer/Attribution: I’m stealing this story from my pastor (www.northpointonline.tv) who shared it at a #thx meeting last week. The imagery is great and I hope he won’t mind. Trinity hardliners, give me a break, it’s just a story.

Jesus is risen and in heaven with the Father. He has ministered, died, arisen and commissioned his disciples.

Father (thoughtfully): Son, I’m not sure about the guys you picked as disciples. Of the twelve, one was a traitor and the rest are hiding in Jerusalem thinking and praying about a Master Plan to get to the “ends of the earth.”

Jesus: They’ll get to it. They’re good guys. They’re thinking about it right now.

Father: I know, but look at the Gentiles. You need someone who is a doer, not a thinker.

Jesus: Who did you have in mind?

Father (pointing): Look at this pharisee, Saul. No half-measures with him!

Jesus: Yeah, but he HATES the Good News.

Father: Yeah, but look how WELL he does it!

Jesus: Hmm. Let me talk to him. Think I should put on the skin or just do light?

Father: Light’ll work. The skin thing is rough, plus, Saul is looking for us, he’s just blind–kind of a pharisee thing, right?

Jesus descends again to earth on a road on the outskirts of Damascus. He’s all lit up.

Saul (to his servants): Is the sun getting brighter or is it getting hotter? I should have brought my shades.

Men traveling with Saul (looking at him): Say, what?

Saul (shielding his eyes): Holy smoke! What’s going on here!

Men (hearing a voice, looking around): Do you hear murmuring?!

Jesus (beaming): Saul, why are you persecuting me?

Saul (blinded by the light): Who are you?!

Jesus: I’m Jesus, the one you are persecuting. You are like an ox kicking at a farmer’s prod–it’s stubborn and pointless.

Saul (trembling and astonished): Lord, what do You want me to do?

Jesus: Time for you to join my team. Go to Damascus and you’ll be told what to do.

Jesus goes back to heaven.

The men with Saul are speechless–they heard Jesus but saw no one. Saul stood up, but he was still blind. His friends took him to Damascus and for three days he was without sight. He neither ate nor drank. Later, through Ananias, the Spirit opened his eyes and started instructed him. Eventually, Saul ended up in Jerusalem. With Barnabas’ help he met with the Disciples to talk.

Paul: Guys, the Spirit is doing some amazing things among Gentiles.

Peter: Yes, of course. Jesus said we needed to make disciples and preach to the “ends of the earth.” We’re in Phase I of our Master Plan–praying and a pledge drive.

John (sliding a pledge card across the table to Saul): Yes, Phase I is well on its way, but I suppose we could meet. Check your calendars–how about next Wednesday after prayer meeting?

Saul (looking at Barnabas; scratching his chest): No need for a meet–no big deal. How does this sound: You guys concentrate on the Master Plan in Jerusalem and I–maybe with Barnabas–we’ll take the rest of the Empire. How ’bout that?

Matthew (looking thoughtfully): Hmmm. We do Jerusalem and you take the rest of the Roman Empire?

Peter (looking at Matthew): Seriously? That doesn’t sound right. Anybody have a map?

Matthew (brightening): I get it. We do Jews and you do Gentiles!

Peter (brows furrowed): Hang on. This reminds me of that dream I had…Spirit’s been talking about Gentiles to me. It’s part of Phase III. Right, John?

John: Yes.

Peter: The dream involved a big hat–or sheet–full of…

Saul: Seriously. Barney and I are headed for Antioch tomorrow. We have tent-making workshops scheduled from here to Greece and back that’ll keep us busy for a few years. We’ll preach as we go.

Everyone begins talking.

Peter (hold up his hands): Yo! Hey! (The group quiets) Everyone who’s okay with Paul and Barnabas preaching to Gentiles while they make tents, raise your hand.

Everyone raises their hands.

Peter: Good luck, guys. If you ever make it to Rome, let me know and I’ll come, too! (To the others,) You know, we could learn something here–I think maybe Phase IV needs to be spreading the Good News beyond the city limits.

In heaven:

Jesus (to the Father): Paul’s the real deal. I’m going to let him write half the New Testament.

Tr8: Be a doer. Make the Good News the front page of your life.

 

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Dave: Hey! What’s up? My name’s Dave.

Jon: I’m Jon. New in town?

Dave: Yeah, I’m the one who killed the giant. With a slingshot.

Jon: Right, right. Then you’ve met my dad.

Dave: Dad?

Jon: Yeah, King Saul. The Big Guy. I’m his oldest son.

Dave: Hmmm. You know Sam the Prophet says I’m going to be king?

Jon: Yep. Sam and I are tight. I’m on board.

Dave: You don’t mind?

Jon: Can’t say it will be easy, but Sam said I should honor God and do for you as I’d want done for me. So, I’m promising right now you’ll be king and have no problems with me.

Dave: But you’re the Prince of the Realm and the people love you.

Jon: Dave, let’s get this straight: For you to be king, I’m going to have to die.

Dave (pause): …there’s gotta be another way…

Jon: We’re living in ancient times. If you become king and I’m around, the first crisis that comes along, the people are gonna call for your head and they’ll want me as king. That’s how things work. For Pete’s sake, it’s 1000 BC!

Dave: Why does it have to be this way?

Jon: We blew it when we demanded a king. We were THE People of God and our “king” was the Law of Moses. We had judges anointed by God. Now, we’re like everybody else — Dad’s a monarch with autocratic power. Autonomous power puts the monarch above the law. I’m not protected by the Law any more.

Dave: So, if we’d kept the Law you’d have been okay?

Jon: Right. But the people kept whining, ‘We want a king! Look at the Philistines, Moabites, and Babylonians — they have kings!’ Sam was the only one who understood how stupid a king would be.

Dave: This stinks. So, for me to be God’s king, you, the Prince of the Realm, must die.

Jon: Listen, Dave. This all works out in the end. I’m more than thankful to play my part. I’m what you call a “type” or “analogy” of Christ, who’ll come along in the New Testament. How many people get to be Christ-like in the Old Testament?

Dave: You’re saying another prince will die?

Jon: THIS prince, Christ, is going to be from YOUR hometown and bloodline and will be the King of Kings. He’ll die for everyone, but God will resurrect him. He’ll fulfill the Law, conquer death, and reveal the Kingdom of God. We’ll all be joined together in him.

Dave: Jon, you’re the best friend a guy could have.

Jon: Christ’s gonna say,’There’s no greater love than this.’

Tr8: A friend loves at all times. We should sacrificially imitate Christ for others.