9:20 Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God.
21 Then all who heard were amazed, and said, “Is this not he who destroyed those who called on this name in Jerusalem, and has come here for that purpose, so that he might bring them bound to the chief priests?”
22 But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who dwelt in Damascus, proving that this Jesus is the Christ.
23 Now after many days were past, the Jews plotted to kill him. 24 But their plot became known to Saul. And they watched the gates day and night, to kill him. 25 Then the disciples took him by night and let him down through the wall in a large basket.
I was wrong. I thought proof mattered. I thought people just needed evidence and if you could get them to listen long enough to hear the evidence they would believe. Saul became a believer. He immediately went out preaching. The text says he could prove to a Jew using their own sacred texts that Jesus of Nazareth was their Messiah.
However the results were not faith. The Jews didn't all become believers. Instead it says that at first they were confounded and after a while decided enough was enough and plotted to kill him. Think about it. Why had Saul headed for Damascus to begin with? He was coming to hunt believers. Why Damascus? Obviously word got back to Jerusalem that the "heresy" was spreading quickly to Damascus and needed to be stopped. Now the very men who summoned his help are being subjected to his proof that they are indeed rejecting their True Messiah. I'm sure many believed but many didn't. Instead their resolve to squash this movement only intensified despite the proof they were in the wrong.
Jesus had told his disciples that if they entered a town and the people were resistant to their message, to kick the dust off their feet and continue on to another village. He also said not to cast pearls before swine. He also said "If they hate you it's because they hated Me first."
Proof does not cure hatred. Rather it intensifies it. Satan had all the proof the universe could offer yet he and his angels have only intensified their hatred. Cain was spoken to by God himself and still went out and killed Abel. Belief is not about proof. It's about surrender to the still small voice.
Today if you hear His voice do not harden your heart...