Acts 9:1-9. You know what? Acts chapter 8 pretty much ruled. Sure, Simon the Wizard was weird, but generally speaking that whole chapter is a refreshing break from the abuse the Christians had been taking for weeks in Jerusalem. The message about Jesus went out from where it was born and all kinds of different people were into it. Every member of the original audience who was reading Acts would have been fired up to see that God still had the church’s back and that the message was catching on despite the religious elite’s best attempts to shut it down.

But every good story needs to bring us back to the bad guy so we remember the threat and are forced to interact with the competing point of view. Re-enter Saul. He’s a jerk whose paid vocation is rounding up people who think forbidden thoughts and throwing them in jail.

He’s written a grant to go kill Christianity in Damascus, but something weird happens on the way.