The Scales in Paul’s Eyes – and Ours – September 9, 2019

I’m back after a pretty long hiatus.  Just life and stuff (including having another baby!) has gotten in the way of my writing, but I’m working my way back into it, as it’s something I enjoy immensely.

So here I am studying the book of Acts, and I was reading about the martyr of Stephen brought about ultimately by the widespread persecution of Christians spearheaded by Saul (who would later become the Apostle Paul) and Saul’s conversion, blindness, and restoration of his vision, in more ways than one (Acts 7:54-9:19).

In reading, I found myself wondering, “What were the scales that fell from Paul’s eyes?”  Verses 17 and 18 of Acts 9 read, “And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.  Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized.”(NKJV)

I’ve always been interested in medical subjects, so I wonder if Paul may have been afflicted with some sort of eye infection that blinded him for three days.  Believe it or not, I read several commentaries on this out of utter curiosity.  According to one, it stated an infection could have been possible, and that the scales that were removed were the “encrustations” formed around the eyes as a result  (really pretty picture there, eh?).  Another commentary postulated that there were no physical scales that came off when God opened Paul’s eyes, but that it was the sensation of his eyes being opened that felt as if something like scales fell from them.

We don’t know for sure what the physical scales were, but we are all born with spiritual scales that render us blinded to the truth of the word of God.  Those are the scales of sin that result from being born with a fallen nature in a fallen world.

Even those of us who are Christians whom God, through the power of the gospel has opened our once blinded eyes, can allow ourselves to get scales in our eyes in life, scales that infect our spiritual eyes and cloud our vision of God like unpleasant spiritual encrustations  (oh, what a gross word!).  They can be scales of pride, lies, injustice, hatred, unforgiveness, addictions, despair, selfishness, insecurity, the list goes on and on.

But the absolute beauty of what a loving God we serve, and His magnificent ability to make things new, is that He is able to remove those scales and restore our sight, just as He did with the apostle Paul.

Friend, if you’re reading this, walking in darkness, thinking you might never see a light at the end of the tunnel, or if the scales in this life have dimmed your light and made it hard to see God, know that He has the power to restore you and heal your spiritual blind spots.  He can open your eyes to the gift of His wonderful grace and love.  We can come boldly before His throne and find our Father waiting there with open arms.

“Father, I love You and I thank You for the gift of Your mercy, grace and restoration because of your Son, Jesus, who died on the cross and rose again three days later, who paid the price for our sins, so that our eyes can be opened, so we can see You and know of Your great mercy.  I am humbled to think about Your awesome love for us, and Your awesome power, Your amazing grace.  Please lift the scales from my eyes, Lord, where I have allowed my vision to get cloudy, heal my blind spots, Father.  Show me where I’ve allowed my vision to get foggy spiritually, and help me to change what needs changing to match up to what You want me to be.  Open my eyes, Lord, I want to see You better, I want to know You more.  I love You, and I praise You, and I thank You again.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.