So Ananias went and found Saul. He laid his hands on him and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road, has sent me so that you might regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Instantly something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he got up and was baptized. Afterward he ate some food and regained his strength. Saul stayed with the believers in Damascus for a few days. And immediately he began preaching about Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is indeed the Son of God!” All who heard him were amazed. “Isn’t this the same man who caused such devastation among Jesus’ followers in Jerusalem?” they asked. “And didn’t he come here to arrest them and take them in chains to the leading priests?” Saul’s preaching became more and more powerful, and the Jews in Damascus couldn’t refute his proofs that Jesus was indeed the Messiah. After a while some of the Jews plotted together to kill him. They were watching for him day and night at the city gate so they could murder him, but Saul was told about their plot. So during the night, some of the other believers lowered him in a large basket through an opening in the city wall.
When Saul arrived in Jerusalem, he tried to meet with the believers, but they were all afraid of him. They did not believe he had truly become a believer! Then Barnabas brought him to the apostles and told them how Saul had seen the Lord on the way to Damascus and how the Lord had spoken to Saul. He also told them that Saul had preached boldly in the name of Jesus in Damascus. So Saul stayed with the apostles and went all around Jerusalem with them, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord. He debated with some Greek-speaking Jews, but they tried to murder him. When the believers heard about this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him away to Tarsus, his hometown. The church then had peace throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria, and it became stronger as the believers lived in the fear of the Lord. And with the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, it also grew in numbers.Acts 9:17-31
The Questions which this passage prompts:
- In what way was Saul a chosen vessel? (9:15)
- What was the basis of selection?
- What does it mean “a vessel to carry My name”?
- Why was Saul destined to suffer? Was it because he persecuted Christians so he had to be repaid?
- Wow This is such an amazing insight, Pak Ian! That God made Saul blind and then he became God’s tool to open the eyes of Jewish people as well as the Gentiles. WOW. God is too real to be unreal!
- Is there a link between Jesus three days in the tomb and Saul three days blind?
- How did Ananias get the courage to go to see Saul? I cant imagine that happened? I would never be able to do something like that.
- I have always thought Ananias had a lot of guts. You would want to make sure that it was really God that you heard. Even then I think that my knees would be a bit soft.
- Why did Ananias lay hands on Saul? What did that signify?
- Isn’t the one who lays hands on another normally the one who is a minister?
- Doesn’t the flow go from greater to lesser?
- How could Saul be baptised without a confession of faith?
- Was it Ananias who baptised Saul? What gave him the authority to do that?
- What were the scales over Saul’s eyes? Was this literal or figurative?
- In what way was Saul strengthened?
- How many days did Saul stay in Damascus?
- If Saul stayed in Damascus for a number of days when did he go to Arabia and see Peter?
- How does this all fit with the time frame found in Galatians 1:15-19?
- How did Saul immediately start preaching about Jesus?
- How did he prove that Jesus was the Son of God when he had only met Him in a vision?
- What does Son of God mean?
- What proofs did Saul use and where did he get them when he hadn’t been with Jesus?
- Wasn’t Peter the one better equipped to prove Jesus was Son of God?
- What is the difference between proofs that Jesus Is the Son of God and that Jesus is the Messiah?
- How could the people who heard Saul suddenly accept that he was on their side? Why did they accept him so soon?
- Who were the Jews who wanted to kill Saul?
- Why did these Jews suddenly want to kill him when he had been on their side?
- Were they really watching the gates day and night for Saul? Were they following him?
- What gates were they watching?
- Did they really put Saul in a basket? How big was the basket? What sort of basket?
- Why was Barnabas the one to guarantee Saul before the apostles in Jerusalem?
- How come he is the only one that received Saul, while others were afraid (the natural response)?
- It seems like Barnabas knew a lot about Saul and even spoke about it to the other believer in Jerusalem. How?
- Can we assume the Barnabas mentioned here is the same person with the one mentioned in Acts 4?
- Why were the apostles in Jerusalem? I thought they were scattered and all left Jerusalem? Now it seems they are all back there again? I am confused?
- How could Barnabas say Saul had seen the Lord? When did he meet Jesus in the flesh?
- When Saul travelled all around to these different places was he “on the run” or was God leading him?
- Why are Jews always the ones how want to murder Saul, Peter and the apostles and Jesus?
- Are the brothers or brethren believers? Are these the people in the church?
- Why did they send him to Caesarea and then to Tarsus?
- I know you said verse 31 is section marker Ian but why and what does it mark? What does it mean?
- In Acts 9:31 why do some translations say peace while king james mentioned edified ?
- Seems like edified is the more proper response (edified due to Saul’s conversion) because, how you can have peace if the persecution is still there ?
- I assume the Jews did not stop just because Saul has been converted) and were still trying to destroy the church. Or is it the inner peace within the church in spite of the persecution.
Well that is an impressive lot of questions. One person said “I hope it can be discussed in the next Gem.” I hope you don’t expect all those questions to be discussed in the next Gem. Now that would go on record as being the longest Gem in the history of the world. I told you there was a lot in this small passage. I am impressed that a number of you came up with all these questions. You have taken my challenge to look at the big picture and question the details you find seriously. Well done. Some of you have also commented on things that struck you deeply in what I wrote but did not have a question as such about the revelation. I am so blessed to see that this has prompted you to go down deep – for some of you real deep. That is even more impressive.
Now that I have gathered the questions together I am going to leave them with you until the next Gem after which I will start to work my way through each comment or question. Now that is going to take some time after this many questions. I think there are more questions here than the last record number of questions.
Training is expensive. Books are expensive. Going to seminars is expensive. Being stupid is even more expensive!Rick Godwin
If we resist the Holy Spirit’s guidance in small matters how can we obey in the big matters?Rick Godwin
Love given to me costing everything compels me to give everything in return.Lavonia Grabau
People who know they’re doing the wrong thing tend 2 get angry & defensive when they see someone doing the right thing!Rick Godwin
You can have it all. You just can’t have it all at once.Oprah Winfrey