I’ve seen the picture in the Bible of Saul of Tarsus being thrown from his horse when Jesus appeared to him on the road to Damascus. I’ve heard sermons about it all my life. “God had to knock Saul off his horse to get his attention”, and “Saul was knocked off his high horse”, are words I’ve heard time and time again. Where does this teaching come from? The Bible doesn’t say anything about him ever being on a horse at any point in his life. In Acts chapter 7 and verse 58, we are introduced to Saul of Tarsus. He began persecuting the church and putting Christians in jail. He thought he was doing God’s will because he believed Jesus was a false Messiah. In chapter nine, Saul went to the high priest and asked for letters to take with him to the synagogues of Damascus, so he could bind and bring to Jerusalem, anyone who was Following the teachings of Jesus. In Acts 9:3, as he was nearing Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven shined all around him. Look at the next few verses carefully.
Act 9:3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:
Act 9:4 And he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?
Act 9:5 And he said, Who are you, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom you persecute: it’s hard for you to fight against the goads.
Act 9:6 And he, trembling and astonished, said, Lord, what do you want me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.
Act 9:7 And the men which journeyed with him STOOD speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.
Act 9:8 And Saul got up off the ground; and when he opened his eyes, he could not see: but they LED HIM by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.
Notice the missing horse. He didn’t even mention it. Notice also, the men who were traveling with Saul, STOOD speechless. Then in Acts 22 Saul, who is also called Paul, (Acts 13:9) tells this story of his conversion to the people at Jerusalem.
Act 22:6 And it came to pass, as I made my journey, I came near Damascus about noon. Suddenly a great light from heaven shined round about me.
Act 22:7 And I fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to me, Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?
Act 22:8 And I answered, Who are you, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you persecute.
Act 22:9 And they that were with me saw the light, and were afraid; but they did not understand the voice of him that spoke to me.
Act 22:10 And I said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said unto me, Get up and go into Damascus; and there you will be told of all things which are appointed for you to do.
Act 22:11 And when I could not see because of the glory of that light, being led by the hand of them that were with me, I came into Damascus.
Same story. This time straight from Paul who it happened to and still no mention of falling off a horse. He tells the story again in Acts 26 verses 12-18.
Act 26:18 As I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests,
Act 26:13 At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining round about me and those who journeyed with me.
Act 26:14 And when we were all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me, in the Hebrew tongue saying, Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?
Act 26:15 And I said, Who are you, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom you persecute. It is hard for you to fight against the goads.
Act 26:16 But get up, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of these things which you have seen, and of those things which I will show you;
Act 26:17 Delivering you from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom I now send you,
Act 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith that is in me.
There you have it. The same story, three different times and no mention of falling off a horse. In fact, it says right the opposite. Notice again what it says. Act 9:3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus:…
Act 9:4 And he fell to the ground…
Act 9:7 And the men which journeyed with him STOOD speechless;….
Act 22:6 And,… as I made my journey, I came near Damascus about noon.
Act 22:7 And I fell to the ground…
Act 26:18 As I went to Damascus…..
Act 26:13 At midday, I saw… a light from heaven, shining round about me and those who journeyed with me.
Act 26:14 And when we were all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me,
Saul and those who were traveling with him appear to have been walking and they ALL fell to the ground. Then when Jesus left, they all got up and Saul was blind.
Act 9:8 And Saul got up off the ground; and when he opened his eyes, he could not see: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.
Then they LED him BY THE HAND into Damascus. Surely if any horses were involved Saul, being blind, would have been allowed to ride instead of having to walk. And how could they lead him by the hand if THEY were riding a horse? We can safely teach that the Bible does not say Saul (Paul) fell off a horse. They were walking before Jesus appeared and they continued walking afterward. Always remember, It’s just as important to notice what the Bible DOES NOT say, as what it DOES say.
The Journey To Heaven
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