We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice speaking to me in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’
Goad in Greek is kentron which means: From kenteo (to prick); a point (“centre”), i.e. A sting (figuratively, poison) or goad (figuratively, divine impulse) — prick, sting. Strong’s 2759
- Sting: A deadly weapon
- As in the Greek writings an iron goad, for urging on oxen, horses and other beasts of burden
Jesus was trying to show Saul who was also known as Paul that it was useless to go against His will even though Jesus was trying to prick Paul in the right direction through His Word as he was a Pharisee who knew God’s Word. Jesus’ prick finally got his attention by physically blinding him and revealing to him who He was, the Messiah and Savior of the world. Jesus was showing Paul that even though he was zealous, he was spiritually blind and Jesus was going to open both his physical but more importantly his spiritual eyes to the truth.
In the Old Testament God sometimes caused real things to happen to His prophets like his wife dying (Ezekiel 24:15-27) or have the prophet walk around naked (Isaiah 20:3) to show His people what would happen to them for their disobedience. In Paul’s case, He made him physically blind to show his spiritual condition. Every time we disobey God’s Word we are kicking against the goad (His will) and not allowing God to direct our path. It is very dangerous to do that because if we don’t repent we can die as it is also a weapon and God sometimes punishes with death as in the case of Ananias and Sapphira found in Acts 5.