Paul’s sudden conversion was surprising and confusing for people. When Paul stood up to preach at the synagogue the people expected a “hate Christians diatribe.” Instead what the people heard was a proclamation that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God. Paul’s new understanding of who Jesus was and of the Christian church was not well received by his fellow Jews.
Paul wasn’t well received by the Christians either. Ananias shared with the Christian community how God had spoken to him and led Ananias to minister to Paul. Some of the Christians may have been present when Paul was baptized. Most of the Christians, though, didn’t trust Paul. They thought that Paul might have been faking his conversion so that he could infiltrate the church and become more effective persecuting Jesus’ followers. For a time Paul lived in a no man’s land—hated by the Jews and not trusted by the Christians.
Usually Christians live and serve as part of a team or ministry. Living a life of faith is rarely accomplished alone. There are times, however, when like Paul we are called to walk our own path for a brief period of time. Paul didn’t continue his journey solo, though, and neither should we. Paul eventually returned to Jerusalem and stood before the disciples. Later the Christians in Antioch laid hands on Paul and Barnabus and sent them out as missionaries. Alone or with others we seek to be faithfully obedient to the leading of the Spirit.
For several days he was with the disciples in Damascus, and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.”