EX-SAUL, Paul …
The boy took a beating, didn’t he?
Before the shipwreck, (Acts 28) Saul got thumped by God with supernatural force just outside of Damascus. Saul was “de-sighted” (Acts 9), or “blinded”. Saul became Paul, and there was a mess of disruption. Folks who were sold out for Jesus didn’t trust him (why would they?); Pharisees … and other folks … wanted to kill him. (Acts 9:3-7)
People change, friendships change, like illusions that entertainers do when they “make things disappear”: “Now you see it. Now you don’t.” Before he got to the shipwreck, Saul – PrePaul was running with the “In Crowd”, a man to be feared and respected. Paul described himself as” … circumcised the eighth day, (that is not something I discuss with folks … but, that’s just me) of the stock of Israel …” with some seriously elite lineage (the tribe of Benjamin); and on top of all that, he was a Pharisee (they drove fast cars, ate at the best restaurants). Do you ever think about the friends and associates Saul had, back when he was a heavy-duty Pharisee? That word “elite” comes up again: Saul was elite; his crowd was elite. But Saul’s eliteness was on its way out when that cosmic thump from God came down.
Saul’s people got him into Damascus, but he didn’t have medical insurance so he ended up a place known only as “House of Judas”. Between “getting his bell rung” outside of Damascus … and the arrival of Ananias (about three days later), his bully-friends who had been running with Saul sneaked out the back, Jack. In other words, they were gone.
Friendships: “Now you see them. Now you don’t.”
“holding on to (their) faith and a good conscience …” while some have suffered shipwreck with regard to their faith.” (1 Timothy 1:19)
What a concept. “The Paulster” was better off going through his shipwreck than being a man who has shipwrecked his faith.
Shipwrecked. Sounds pretty serious. And the opposite of “shipwrecked” is … what? Freedom? And Freedom comes with responsibility. And not everyone is ready for the responsibility that comes with freedom. The advantage of being shipwrecked is … that you don’t have to do much because you are stuck. For some people, I suppose, this is a dilemma. What do you think?”