Saul! Saul! Why Persecutest Thou Me?
In Acts 9, we see the salvation of Saul, better known as Paul. He is met by Jesus on the road to Damascus, where Christians had fled to escape the fierce persecution in Jerusalem. A bright light shines upon his face, and he is thrown off his horse. Then, he hears the voice of Jesus, demanding why Saul persecutes him; not his church, not his saints; he’s asking why HE is being persecuted? Why?
In John 15, Jesus says that “I am the true vine,” and “I am the vine, ye are the the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” (John 15:1, 15:5). The point of this is clear. We believe that a branch is a part of a bush; the vine as well, it being the central part. We are the branches, and we gain our strength, courage, and devotion from him; destroying the branches is a direct attack against the vine, which is “rooted and grounded in love.” Those who persecute Christians are persecuting Jesus, because true Christians are true followers of Christ.
So, Christ’s cry: “Saul, Saul! Why persecutest thou me?” is God reminding Saul that who he is truly attacking is God himself. By whacking at the branches, he was truly defying the vine.