Read / Listen
1 Kings 11:1-12:19
New Testament: Acts 9:1-25
Summary: The Conversion of Saul, Saul Proclaims Jesus in Synagogues, Saul Escapes from Damascus
But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.” But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. ~ Acts 9:13-15
We have a lot happening in today’s reading. We meet Ananias who knew the Lord well. How do we know he knew the Lord well? Because Ananias is obedient regardless of knowing that Saul was a violent persecutor of the followers of Jesus. It is through reading and studying the Bible that we will become more obedient, knowing that God does not always ask us to do things that sound right to us, but things that may seem risky to us.
So Ananias departed … ~ Acts 9:17
… Then he rose and was baptized; ~ Acts 9:18
Saul immediately rose and was baptized. In our study yesterday the same thing took place with Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch showing us that baptism is very important to in our road to salvation through Jesus Christ. Baptism is the ceremony in which a Christian is immersed in water before the church to publically symbolize their belief in Christ. The water is a symbol of sin being washed away.
John Gill said, “And this also may suggest to us, that only enlightened persons are the proper objects of this ordinance; such as have the scales of darkness, ignorance, and unbelief removed from them, and have a spiritual sight and sense of divine things: hence the ancients used to call baptism by the name of φωτισμος, “illumination”, and baptized persons “enlightened” ones.”
It is only through obedience that we can come to know Jesus Christ. By knowing the bible you can know His will, be obedient and never hear the words “depart from me I never knew you” Matthew 7:21-23.
And immediately he proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.” ~ Acts 9:20
Saul immediately went to the synagogues where he knew they did not believe in Jesus and proclaimed Jesus is the Son of God. Wow, total boldness by the power of the Holy Spirit. Knowing Jesus makes you want to share Him with everyone. That is one way to know you are saved.
When many days had passed, the Jews plotted to kill him, ~ Acts 9:23
The same thing happened to Jesus when he witnessed to the religious self-seeking people in the synagogue who planned to kill him. Serving and knowing Jesus in this life will not be easy, but it is exciting and worth it since this life on earth is short compared to eternity.
Saul Struck to the Earth on His Way to Damascus
Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. And falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. ~ Acts 9:3-5
But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ. ~ Acts 9:22
proving that this is very Christ; by joining and knitting passages of Scripture in the Old Testament together, by producing and citing express testimonies from thence, and by comparing the prophecies and the characters of the Messiah in them, with Jesus of Nazareth, he proved to a demonstration that he must be the Messiah. ~ John Gill
Dr. J. Vernon McGee – Thru the Bible