Acts 9:4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
This is what Saul (who is later called the apostle Paul) heard while on the way to Damascus to find any believers in Jesus there and take them as prisoners back to Jerusalem. The interesting thing here is that Saul is not able to persecute Jesus who, according to the first chapter of Acts, has already ascended to the right hand of the Father in heaven. The persecution was directed at his followers. This is reminiscent of a story of Jesus recorded in Matthew 25 with the punch line in verse 40, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” This same Saul will later go on to call the church the body of Christ. What we do to other followers of Jesus, even those not in our congregation or denomination or community, even those that aren’t like us culturally or socially or politically, yes, even those we don’t get along with, it seems we do to Jesus. The world is a complicated place and people are a complicated bunch, but Jesus identifies closely with all his followers. How about you?