Posted by: wwyeshua | January 5, 2019

SAUL’S CONVERSION – Acts 9:1-30

Saul was a very angry man who persecuted Christians. He was a Jewish Pharisee and he did not believe in Jesus Christ as the Messiah.

The Jews hated the Christians and tried to kill them every chance they had. Saul had just been present at the stoning of Stephen who loved Jesus and was preaching to the Jews about Him when they stoned him to death.

 

After the death of Stephen, Christians in Jerusalem suffered so much that many left to find new places to live. Some traveled north to the city of Damascus.

 

Saul, however, was not going to let this happen, so he went to the High Priest and asked for papers that would give him permission to go to Damascus and arrest any of those who believe in Jesus.

The papers were given to Saul and he set off to Damascus.

As he got near to the city, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him and he fell to the ground. He heard a voice saying: ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’

‘Who are you, Lord?’ Saul asked. ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ the voice replied. ‘Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.’

The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless. They heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up, but when he opened his eyes he could not see, he was blind.

So they led Saul by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.

 

In Damascus there was a disciple of Jesus Christ named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, ‘Ananias!’‘Yes, Lord,’ he answered.

‘Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man named Saul. He is praying. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.’

 

‘Lord,’ Ananias answered, ‘I heard that this man has harmed your holy people in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.’

 

But the Lord said to Ananias, ‘Go! I have chosen Saul for an important work. He must tell about me to non-Jews, to kings, and to the people of Israel.  I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.’

Then Ananias went to the house and placed his hands on Saul. ‘Brother Saul, Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’

 

Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see. Saul got up and was immediately baptized by Ananias.

Afterword he ate some food, and regained his strength.

After this, Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus – the very people he had come to arrest.

And he immediately began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God.

 

Those listening were amazed. They said, “This is the man who was in Jerusalem. He was trying to destroy those who trust in this name! He came here to do the same thing. He came here to arrest the followers of Jesus and take them back to the leading priests.’

But Saul powerfully explained to them that Jesus is the Messiah. A few days later some Jews who were against Jesus plotted to kill Saul. They were planning to do the same thing Saul came to do in Damascus, but now it was he who they were after.

They kept watch at the city gates hoping to catch him and kill him. But Saul found out about their plans.

So, Saul’s friend took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall so he could escape.

Once Saul left Damascus he returned to Jerusalem where he tried to join the disciples. But they were all afraid of him, because they did not believe that he really was a disciple.

However, Barnabas explained that Saul was now a Christian, and how he had preached in Damascus that Jesus is the Son of God.  So the Apostles welcomed Saul, and he started speaking boldly about Jesus in Jerusalem.

But again, when he started telling about Jesus in Jerusalem they tried to kill him there also.

 

To protect Saul the believers took him to the port of Caesarea and sent him back to his home city of Tarsus. Saul was his Jewish name but as a Roman citizen he also had the Latin name which was ‘Paul’. 

The apostle Paul from then on suffered many persecutions. Instead of being the person who hurt other Christians, he became persecuted himself for Christ’s sake. 

God had a special job for Paul to do, and He may have some great work for you to do also. So be ready and always take every opportunity to learn more about Jesus Christ who is our Lord and Savior.

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Goodbye, until next time. Until then, remember to say your prayers, obey your mom and dad and do not forget to go to church and Sunday school next week.

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