I am Jesus (Acts 26:15)

“I asked.

‘Who are you?

Lord!’

The Lord answered.

‘I am Jesus

Whom you are persecuting.’”

ἐγὼ δὲ εἶπα Τίς εἶ, Κύριε; ὁ δὲ Κύριος εἶπεν Ἐγώ εἰμι Ἰησοῦς ὃν σὺ διώκεις.

The author of Acts indicated that Paul in the first person singular asked (ἐγὼ δὲ εἶπα) “Who are you (Τίς εἶ)?”  The Lord (ὁ δὲ Κύριε) said (εἶπεν) “I am Jesus (Ἐγώ εἰμι Ἰησοῦς), whom you are persecuting (ὃν σὺ διώκεις).”  This response was exactly the same as in the earlier conversion stories.  The author of Acts chapter 9:5, indicated that Saul asked (εἶπεν δέ) this voice.  “Who are you (Τίς εἶ)?  Lord (Κύριε)!”  The reply came (ὁ δέ) “I am Jesus (Ἐγώ εἰμι Ἰησοῦς), whom you are persecuting (ὃν σὺ διώκεις).”  Saul called this voice Lord.  The response was quick.  Saul was persecuting Jesus, when he was persecuting his followers.  This response was nearly the same in Acts, chapter 22:8.  Saul in the first person asked (ἐγὼ δὲ ἀπεκρίθην), “Who are you (Τίς εἶ)?  Lord (Κύριε)!”  He said to me (εἶπέν τε πρὸς ἐμέ) “I am Jesus of Nazareth (Ἐγώ εἰμι Ἰησοῦς ὁ Ναζωραῖος), whom you are persecuting (ὃν σὺ διώκεις).”  He also added that this was Jesus of Nazareth, not any Jesus.  Here there was no mention of Nazareth in this description.  Paul wanted to know who was speaking to him.  The Lord Jesus told him directly to stop persecuting him and his followers.  When he persecuted them, he was also persecuting Jesus.  This message was clear, Jesus and his followers were one and the same.  Paul had to put an end to his persecuting days of intimidating the followers of Jesus.  What would make you change your mind about a group of people?

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