2 male actors. About 20 minutes.
SILAS: Are you alright, Brother Paul?
PAUL: Yes, Silas. I am fine. These wounds will heal.
SILAS: I know you have been through this kind of thing before, but this is the first time for me. I really thought that we were going to be killed.
PAUL: God has greater plans for us, Brother. I do not believe our time has come yet. Naturally, I do not know for sure what He has planned….but if I must suffer hardship for the cause of Christ, then I rejoice in the fact that He even deems me worthy of such a calling.
SILAS: You have such great faith. I am honored to be working along side you.
PAUL: I chose you to come with me because I saw in you a great dedication to The Cause. You and Brother Judas were leaders and great encouragers to the brethren. Your words to them brought great comfort and strength. I saw a commitment in you that greatly impressed me.
SILAS: I am thrilled to be able to travel with you and be used of the Lord. I will even try to be thankful for the beatings and imprisonment.
PAUL: Just dwell on what our Lord did for us on the cross and this will seem like such a light affliction.
SILAS: You know, I never thought that I would be beaten for doing something good. I could understand if I was a thief or some lawless individual, but we helped that woman! She was set free today!
PAUL: Yes… Jesus set her free from the demonic possession that had held her captive, and suddenly her masters watched all their profits disappear. Her fortunetelling was bringing income to those scoundrels, and without that spirit of divination, she will be useless to them.
SILAS: It is amazing how quickly things can be turned around with lies and false accusations to bring on the crowds and the authorities against us. They would not even allow us to state our case before them.
PAUL: Our message, though it is one of hope and love, will always be met with opposition to the enemies of The Way. We must persevere and endure the suffering and not give up for the sake of the few who will hear our message and turn from their sins to a life of peace and joy in Christ Jesus!
SILAS: Amen to that. It is what keeps me going. Take Lydia for example. What a joy to see her follow the Lord and be baptized.
PAUL: Yes… when you see the joy on her face and the way her entire household turned to God and repented, it makes it all worth it.
SILAS: You have so many stories just like that I’m sure… of great things that the Lord has done through you and around you in your travels. Share some of them with me. It will be a good way to pass the time as we are sitting here unable to move.
PAUL: Where do I begin? I think you have heard of my conversion on the road to Damascus. You know the story of Ananias who prayed over me and my sight returned and how he baptized me.
SILAS: Yes… I have heard this…but I would not mind hearing it again…told to me as only you could tell it. Besides…there are the other prisoners here… I believe they are listening…and they have not heard it.
PAUL: Very well…I never tire of telling it. As you know, I was very much against the disciples and what they were teaching. I was in favor of the stoning of Stephen. I stood there and held the robes of those who stoned him.
SILAS: I have heard that. It is so amazing because it is not who you are today.
PAUL: The power of God in a person’s life to bring about this kind of transformation. I marvel daily at his grace!
SILAS: Amen to that!
PAUL: Anyway…I was traveling to Damascus to arrest as many of the followers of Christ as I could find. I had asked the high priest for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, that if we found anyone belonging to the Way… I would bring them bound to Jerusalem.
SILAS: How would you accomplish that? Surely they would flee or fight!
PAUL: I had men with me. They were very capable of getting the job done. But as you know, God had other plans for me. There was this sudden light from heaven that flashed all around me. We were walking along the road to Damascus when this suddenly happened, and it caused me to just fall to the ground. That was when I heard the voice of Jesus. Of course I didn’t know it was Jesus. He said to me, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” And I answered the voice and said, “Who are you?” And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. Rise and stand on your feet. For this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you; delivering you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, in order that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me. Now enter the city and it will be told you what you must do.”
SILAS: Incredible! How did you feel after that? What were you thinking?
PAUL: Needless to say, I was quite stunned. It was obvious to me that this was a real vision from the Lord… but Jesus, Himself! I was an enemy of this man! A man who I had believed to be dead.
SILAS: What of the men with you? What was their reaction?
PAUL: They stood there without saying a word. They had heard everything that I heard, but they saw no one. Once the light had gone away, I could no longer see. My eyes were open, but all was darkness. They helped me to my feet and they had to help me walk as we approached the city. I ate or drank nothing for three days. A man named Ananias came to see me in the house where we were staying. I didn’t know how he knew I was there. But he explained that he was sent by the Lord to lay his hands on me. He knew of my vision along the road, and he said that I would now regain my sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit. He placed his hands upon me and suddenly I felt something falling from my eyes… as if I had scales on them and they were no longer there. My sight had returned. I was then baptized by Ananias. I ate some food, and then he took me to stay with the disciples who were at Damascus. The very ones who I went there to arrest!
SILAS: Did they know who you were?
PAUL: Oh yes! They all knew who I was…even Ananias. He told me that he was fearful when the Lord appeared to him because he had heard that I was coming to Damascus to arrest believers of Jesus Christ. But he was convinced by the Lord that I was now his brother in the faith. Some of the others showed concern, but they could not deny that I had experienced this great vision and that a tremendous change was taking place in my heart. I would go with them to the synagogues and I would proclaim, “Jesus is the Son of God!” There was no small disturbance among the Jews. They all knew who I was. This was all very alarming to them.
SILAS: I can imagine. Most of them are apposed to this teaching.
PAUL: They were confounded… as I was proving to them through the scriptures that Jesus is the Messiah. It didn’t take long until we heard that there was a plot to kill me. They were hiding near the gates day and night waiting for me to pass by so that they could jump on me and put me to death.