Passage: Acts 9
v1-9 - The opening section of this chapter is so monumental, we still use the phrase 'he had a Damascus Road experience' to describe a sudden conversion to Christianity. Notice how Luke describes Saul as 'breathing out murderous threats (v1).' The word breath and Spirit are the same in Greek, so in a sense, Luke is saying that Saul had a murderous spirit, until at his conversion he was filled with the Holy Spirit.
v10-19 - The Holy Spirit alerts a man named Ananias to go pick up Saul, which to him would be like the Spirit telling you to go pick up the leader of ISIS and baptize him.
v20-31 - After Saul regains his sight and strength, he immediately begins preaching the gospel, 'baffling the Jews by proving that Jesus is the Messiah (v22).' It doesn't take long for the Jews to turn on Saul and they begin plots to assassinate him. He escapes Damascus by being let down outside of the wall in a basket in the dark of night, but the disciples don't want anything to do with him either until Barnabas convinces them to take it in (just a typical day for a preacher). Finally the early church begins to experience peace (v31).
v32-43 - Luke cuts away from the Saul story to remind us that Peter's ministry is still going strong as well. Peter heals a paralyzed man and even more impressively, he raises a well loved saint from the dead.
Old Testament References - Add even more value to your daily Bible reading by reading a related passage from the Old Testament
Psalm 27 - It's quite possible that Saul thought of this psalm as he waited for his sight to return.
Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions. For every comment or reply you post, you will receive an entry for this month's prize.
Look at all of the trials Saul faced in the opening days of his ministry - 2 different groups wanting to kill him (v23-24 & v29), and even the Christians didn't want much to do with him. How do you think Paul would describe those days, and what was his motivation to continue? How can this passage bring hope to a person in difficult times?
How would you describe what it means to 'live in the fear of the Lord' in v31?
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our all powerful Father who can change lives in an instant and bring the dead to life
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: as God to cause you to live in fear of Him, encouraged by the Holy Spirit (v31)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:
Watch the week 3 video - The REAL God sermon series