“Kicking Against the Goads”
BEFORE his conversion, Paul (Saul) bitterly persecuted God’s true servants. When revealing himself to Paul, Jesus Christ said: “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? To keep kicking against the goads makes it hard for you.” (Acts 26:14) What did Jesus mean by this?
Jesus Christ views what is done to his followers as being done to him himself. (Matt. 25:40, 45) Therefore, Paul, in persecuting Christians, was in reality persecuting Christ. He was fighting against something that had God’s backing, to his own injury. Paul could rightly be spoken of as “kicking against the goads.” A goad is a pointed stick, sometimes metal tipped, used in driving cattle or an animal used in plowing. The stubborn animal that resists the pricks of the goad by kicking against it does not get any relief but only harms itself. Similarly, Paul did not benefit by persecuting those whom God approved. His efforts in this regard were as fruitless as those of a draft animal when resisting the pricks of the goad.