Saul of Tarsus, the great opponent of the Christian church, had encountered Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus and discovered that he was the divine Son of God and that his followers were disciples of the Messiah, united to him in a real union.
Until now, however, the meeting had been kept secret from the disciples in Damascus. Perhaps they were wondering where Saul of Tarsus was because news of his intended visit there had reached their ears (v. 14), but there was no sign of him. Whatever their thoughts, they did not have a true picture of what was going on. They were still apprehensive, not realising that their Lord in heaven had reached down and removed the source of trouble in a gracious manner.
Right away we can see a powerful challenge to our own way of regular thinking. We judge current situations by the limited information we have of them, just as these disciples in Damascus did. Yet their limited information was actually dated information because events had moved on without their realisation of the change. The lesson for us is not merely to ask, ‘What could Jesus do in this situation?’ In addition, we must remind ourselves that the Saviour will have already done something about it.
Paul reminded the Ephesians that Jesus is the head over all things [which includes current circumstances] for the benefit of his body the church (Eph. 1:22). Our perspective of life has to be biblical, and one feature of a true outlook is awareness that God is always active, working all things (including all ‘my’ circumstances) for our good (Rom. 8:28).
No situation that believers face remains static because Jesus has been and will be involved in working in their situations for his glory, their good and the benefit of others.