Acts 9: Controversial Conversion
I can only imagine the controversy that went down when Saul converted to Christianity in Acts 9. He went from being the guy who was sent to kill the Christians to the guy who was all of a sudden one of the best defenders of the faith.
Act 9:21 But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests?
Act 9:22 But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ.
Act 9:23 And after that many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him:
Act 9:24 But their laying await was known of Saul. And they watched the gates day and night to kill him.
Act 9:25 Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket.
He was seen as so much of a threat that he already had the priests planning to kill him. He was that effective. Saul was clearly a very intelligent man, and God was able to put that talent to work in confounding of the Jews who lived in Damascus. He would’ve had the background knowledge to know the Old Testament Scriptures, and now he was in a position where he understood that Jesus was the fulfillment of the Messianic prophecies. He understood that Jesus was indeed the Christ.
I wonder what would happen if something like this happen today. What would happen if a prominent figure in another religion converted to Christianity? I think it would be just as controversial as what happened for Saul, but the main point here is that even though most people would have doubted that God would use Saul, He was able to. He turned him from an enemy to one of the best intellectuals in the early church.