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Now Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of
the Lord, went to the high priest,  and asked for letters from him to
the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way,
both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.  And it
came about that as he journeyed, he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly
a light from heaven flashed around him;  and he fell to the ground,
and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?"
 And he said, "Who art Thou, Lord?" And He said, "I am Jesus whom you
are persecuting,  but rise, and enter the city, and it shall be told
you what you must do."  And the men who traveled with him stood speechless,
hearing the voice, but seeing no one.  And Saul got up from the ground,
and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; and leading him by
the hand, they brought him into Damascus.  And he was three days without
sight, and neither ate nor drank.
Few people's lives illustrate the word "transformation" like Saul of Tarsus.
Before his encounter with Christ on the Road to Damascus, Saul was the poster child for Judaism. If they had elections for that sort of thing, Saul's peers would surely elect him as the "Most Valuable Member" at his Synagogue. They would do so because of his pedigree and his zeal.
Paul did not convert to Judaism, he was born into the faith. In fact, as a member of the tribe of Benjamin, the aristocracy of the Race. Benjamin was the son of Jacob's old age from his favorite wife Rachel. He was Jacob's favorite son and his descendants lived their life with a special pride in their ancestry. Saul was as proud to be a Benjamite as an American would be proud to discover they descended from George Washington or Abraham Lincoln.
Saul had more reasons to be proud than his lineage, he was a righteous man. From a child, Saul was raised to be righteous. His parents circumcised him on the eighth day, just as the law prescribed, and unlike other Jews who became Hellenized under the reign of Rome, his family retained the distinction of speaking Hebrew, their mother tongue. They were "Hebrews of Hebrews."
As Saul matured, he became a Pharisee. Because of the conflicts Jesus had with the Pharisees, we often have a negative connotation about Pharisees. But to a Jew, there was not a higher goal to attain than to be a Pharisee. They were "separatists," adherents of the law who sought to live blameless lives before God. During Saul's time, they were about 6000 strong in Jerusalem, the largest and most influential religious party within Judaism. Saul was blameless in matters of the law. In other words, Saul wasn't just a "blue blood," or a person with pedigree, he was living out his destiny, to be the best Jew he could be.
Not only was he living out his destiny, Saul was zealous to destroy those who would threaten the way of life he was born into, he devoted his life to destroying those who perverted Judaism with claims that the Messiah came, was crucified and rose from the dead.
One afternoon, Saul was traveling to Damascus to round up any people
belonging to "the way," bind them and bring them back to Jerusalem where
they would receive a fair trial before they were executed. On the road,
he didn't meet anyone belonging to "the way," but he did meet someone who
claimed to be "the way, the truth and the life"-he met the resurrected