Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes


Acts 9:10-25
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: Acts 9:10-12
vs10-12: The Lord brought Saul’s days of darkness to an end by sending one of the leaders of the church in Damascus. The man’s name was Ananias, and Paul would later describe him as someone who carefully obeyed God’s Word and was highly regarded by the Jewish Community (Ac 22:12). In that case, it is almost certain that Judas, Saul’s host, would have known Ananias, and it’s also quite possible that he knew him to be a follower of Jesus. If not, he would as soon as Ananias knocked on his door. Luke tells us the Lord had spoken to Ananias in a vision, “There was a certain disciple in Damascus named Ananias, and the Lord said to him in a vision, ‘Ananias!’ And he said, ‘Behold, I, Lord.’ And the Lord (said) to him, ‘Rise up and go to the street called ‘Straight’ and seek in the house of Judas a Tarsian named Saul, for behold he is praying, and in a vision he saw a man named Ananias coming in and putting hands on him so that he may see again.” (literal)

Monday: Acts 9:13-16
vs13-14: Given Saul’s reputation, who can blame Ananias for gently questioning God to see if he realized how dangerous this mission would be, “And Ananias answered, ‘Lord, I have heard from many about this man, what things he did to Your saints (holy ones) in Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to find all the ones who are calling upon Your name’” (literal). Based on Saul’s past actions Ananias was worried he would be walking into a trap. vs15-16: But God’s response to Ananias completely ignored Saul’s past. Instead He focused entirely on Saul’s future. He said, “Go, because this man is a chosen vessel to pick up and carry My name before nations and kings and sons of Israel for I will give him a glimpse of how many things he will be bound to suffer on behalf of My name” (literal). God is able to see the human heart and know that person’s future, so He looked beyond Saul’s present deception and saw him as he was going to become. In other words, He saw Paul, not Saul.

Tuesday: Acts 9:13-16
vs13-16 (continued): God called Saul a “chosen vessel.” This isn’t favoritism. It isn’t that He loved Saul more than other people and therefore went to great effort to save him. Indeed the Lord did love Saul of Tarsus and knew he would say “yes” when he saw the truth, but that’s not the only reason Saul was a “chosen vessel.” His encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus is an example of God’s loving heart strategically targeting certain people because if they come to Him many more will be saved. God chose him because He knew this man would preach and write in such a way that many would hear the saving truth and believe it. Being “chosen” went beyond Saul’s personal salvation to his fruitfulness as a minister.

Wednesday: Acts 9:17-19
vs17-19: Ananias needed no further prodding. He “went away and entered into the house, and putting hands on him said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord has sent me (apostello), Jesus the One who appeared to you along the road by which you were coming, so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’ And immediately there fell away from him, from the eyes, something like scales and he saw again, and rising up was baptized, and taking food was strengthened” (literal). Ananias not only prayed for Saul’s healing, but also for him to receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit. This is notable because, as we recall, Philip did not minister the baptism with the Holy Spirit to those he led to Christ. Peter and John had to come to Samaria to perform this ministry (Ac 8:14-17). But Ananias did, and he also prophesied to Saul. Later on, when Paul related what Ananias said during that encounter, he added more than is recorded here. He said, “Brother Saul… the God of our fathers hand-picked you beforehand to know His will and see the Righteous One and hear an utterance out of His mouth, because you will be a witness to Him to all men of the things which you have seen and heard” (Ac 22:14, 15). Then he told Saul to rise up and “be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling upon His (Jesus’) name” (Ac 22:16). In that one encounter Saul was healed, baptized with the Holy Spirit, water baptized, and given food, after which, Luke says, his strength was greatly restored.

Thursday: Acts 9:19-21
vs19-21: Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus, probably listening and asking questions while they pointed out passages in the Bible that speak of Jesus (Lk 24:44-47). It’s likely there were people present who heard Jesus use some of these passages to explain Himself. If so, Saul would have listened attentively, and he was so theologically astute he would have processed what he was hearing very quickly.

Friday: Acts 9:19-22
vs19-21 (continued): Apparently, Saul began visiting the city’s synagogues as soon as the next Sabbath arrived. Since he was a respected Jewish scholar he would naturally be invited to address a congregation when he visited and when the opportunity came he boldly proclaimed Jesus to be the “Son of God.” Luke says those who heard him were stunned (beside themselves) and were saying, “Is not this man the one who captured and slaughtered those who call upon this name in Jerusalem, and for this he had come here in order that after binding them he might bring them before the chief priests?” (literal). v22: During these early days following his conversion Saul was extremely full of the power of the Holy Spirit, and like Stephen before him (Ac 6:10), he was able to effectively prove from the Scriptures that Jesus is the promised Messiah (Christ). Some of the leaders in the Jewish community rose up and tried to disprove his logic but were not able to do so. The discussion that arose became confused and full of noisy disorder.

Saturday: Acts 9:23-25
vs23-25: When a sufficient number of days had passed to allow Saul to preach Christ to those willing to listen, a group of Jewish leaders met secretly to form a plan to kill him. They posted people at the city gates, day and night, so that when he came by they could follow him to a secluded location where they could murder him, but someone warned him about the plot. And though he had only been a believer for a short period of time he had already gathered around himself a group of disciples who loved him and knew the location of a hole or window in the wall through which he could escape. In the dark of night he climbed into the kind of large woven basket which was normally used for hay or bales of wool (Rienecker/Rogers, Linguistic Key to the Greek New Testament, Zondervan, 1980, p282) and they tied a rope to it and lowered him down undetected. Immediately he headed back to Jerusalem.
 


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