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Q and A-What does it mean to kick against the goads?

May 18th, 2016

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Q and A Segment explores the question, “What does it mean when Jesus said to Paul, ‘It is hard for you to kick against the goads?’”

The phrase “kicking against the goads” was a common expression in Bible times, referring to the practice of farmers goading their oxen in the fields.

A goad is defined as a spiked stick used for driving cattle or oxen.

According to Chuck Swindoll, there were occasions when an ox would kick at the goad. When this happened, the goad would stab into the flesh of its leg and cause greater pain.

What Jesus was saying to Paul before his conversion was that by resisting Jesus, Paul was only hurting himself.

The Holy Spirit says in Hebrews 3:7, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”

After that encounter, Paul stopped resisting Jesus and started to serve Him. His hardened heart against Christ was made tender as he received God’s love. The message that Jesus had for Paul urges us to be responsive to His promptings in the Year of Exploration.

John Shirk


  1. Katili.Akoli
    March 15th, 2019 at 20:56 | #1

    I was read a passage on act 9: and came through something meaning less to me I research the word on google and this site …. it’s now a very much help with out your help I couldn’t it better …god bless

  2. Myrtle Ward
    March 29th, 2021 at 11:40 | #2

    I see the question about “kicking against the goads” in Acts 26, but not in Acts 9. Which translation includes this question in Acts 9?

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