“Cuando Vuelva A Tu Lado” is a Spanish song originally written by Maria Grever in 1934. The song is also known in English as “What a Difference a Day Makes,” which was popularized by Dinah Washington in 1959. The title of the song is an expression stated when there is a dramatic and striking change within a short period. In like manner, I wonder did Saul state a similar expression to “What A Difference A Few Days Make” following his dramatic and striking conversion to Christianity. It’s plausible he did!
Saul is initially introduced to Bible readers in the Book of Acts, chapters 7-9.At the time of his introduction, several things were made obvious in scripture. First, we are told Saul’s general age; “a young man” [Acts 7:58]. Second, we are told of Saul’s opposition to Stephen and others; “consenting unto death…made havoc of the church…committed unto prison” [Acts 8:1; 3]. And third, we learn of how zealous Saul was toward the Law of Moses; “breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord” [Acts 9:1]. What was not obviously known at that time would be Saul’s dramatic and striking conversion to Christianity seemingly in close proximity with the events of chapters 7-8.
Consider how certain events in chapters 7-8 ran concurrent. As the Jews were stoning Stephen to death in chapter 7, chapter 8 opens with Saul consenting unto Stephen’s death. Stephen was not stoned with one stone an hour until he gave up the ghost, but repeatedly until he succumb to death [Acts 7:58-8:2]. Now admittedly, the remainder of chapter 8 is a longer period of time for two reasons. One, Saul continued his assault on the church. And two, because of the Jewish persecution many believers scattered out of Jerusalem and the gospel spread to many foreign countries [Acts 8:3-8:40]. Logically speaking, this process had to take some time. But as we investigate Saul’s conversion, the internal and external evidence suggests Saul’s conversion took just a few days. Let’s examine the text.
The internal evidence suggests that Paul had gained permission from the Jewish leaders to journey from Jerusalem to Damascus to apprehend any Jewish convert to Christianity. The external evidence establishes the distance between the two cities is approximately 120-140 miles which is 5-6 days on foot [Acts 9:1-9]. Furthermore, the internal evidence also reveals that upon reaching Damascus, Saul remained blinded three additional days until he received his sight and was baptized totaling 8-9 days [Acts 9:10-18]. Following his dramatic and striking conversion to Christianity, it is plausible that Saul said, “What A Difference A Few Days Make” realizing the brevity of his actions prior against God, Christ, the church, and his own soul. Thus, he became obedient to the gospel by putting Christ on through baptism!
If you have not given your life to the Lord during the course of this past week, please visit with us at the Beltway Church of Christ that you might know, “What a Difference a Few Days Make.”