by Rev. Benjamin Chung
In a Children’s Bible is the story of Saul’s conversion after the murder of Stephen. On the road to Damascus, the LORD Jesus appeared to Saul and caused him to become blind due to his persecution of Christians (Acts 9:3-9 NIV). Then, Saul was led to Damascus. At the same time Ananias, who was fearful of Saul, was miraculously instructed by the LORD, in Acts 9:10-19a, to go to Damascus to meet with none other than the Christian persecutor, Saul. The LORD’s prophecy for Saul was he would be “His chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel” (v.15). Ananias obediently went, prayed for Saul, and from Saul’s eyes were what appeared to be scales that fell from his eyes so that he could see again!
Next, the Children’s Bible says Saul’s name was changed to Paul because of his conversion. However, this is a simplified, but not accurate explanation. Saul’s “name change” is not explained until Acts 13:9 to be called Paul. The reason wasn’t due to his conversion as a follower of Jesus because he had already begun preaching “in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God” back in Acts 9:20. Rather, Paul has two names, a Hebrew name and a Greek name and when he interacted with the Greeks, he used his Greek name. This is similar to many of us, where we have both an English name and Chinese name and the one applied to us is dependent place we are in and the people around us.
What is critical as a believer though, is not our name, but that we are not ashamed of His name—the name of Jesus. Little children are not ashamed of Jesus, but more often than not, as we get older and spend more time in this world many followers of Jesus are ashamed of His name. (This puts our faith into question.) We must be careful and have the faith of a child. For Jesus also states, if we are ashamed of Him then He will be ashamed of us on that Day (Luke 9:26).
During LoveSF this past week, I got to meet and listen to many people who were in SF during the height of the hippie period and then later came to faith. I was encouraged through seeing their child-like faith in imitating the actions of the apostles through their internalization of the Scriptures and proclamation of the gospel. For them, preaching isn’t only speaking at a pulpit but also at the street corner, which they have done for over 5 decades and in much harsher conditions. This is why they go. I encourage you to also do the same. For we were all lost at some point, and then we were found by Jesus. Let us serve Him with child-like faith to find more of His lost sheep!
兒童聖經中講述有關司提反被殺後，掃羅轉變的故事。在通往大馬士革的路上，主耶穌向掃羅顯現，並因他對基督徒的迫害而使他失明（使徒行傳9：3-9）。然後，掃羅被帶到大馬士革。與此同時，一向懼怕掃羅的亞拿尼亞，奇蹟般地被神指示前往大馬士革與迫害基督徒的掃羅會面。(使徒行傳9：10-19a) 耶和華對掃羅的預言是，他將成為「…我所揀選的器皿，要在外邦人和君王，並以色列人面前宣 揚我的名。」（第15節）。亞拿尼亞服從地去了，為掃羅禱告，鱗片從掃羅的眼中掉下來，跟著他的眼睛就再次看見了！
然而作為一個信徒，至關重要的不是我們的名字，而是我們不以衪的名字為恥 - 耶穌的名字。小孩子並不以耶穌為恥，但往往，隨著年齡的增長和花了很多時間在這世界裏，許多耶穌的追隨者都有以祂的名字感到羞恥。 （這使我們的信心受到質疑。）我們必須小心並且要擁有孩子般的信心。因為耶穌也說，如果我們以祂為羞恥，那麼祂也會在那一天以我們感到羞恥（路加福音9:26）。