Acts | Chapter 9

Saturday, October 09, 2021

Read Acts Chapter 9  

For a printable version, click HERE.

What stands out to you as you read this chapter?

Are there any words or phrases that you feel are key ideas in this chapter?

What other features do you wish you knew more about (culture, religion, customs, etc.) in order to help you understand this chapter?

How do you think this chapter fits in the larger story of Acts and the Bible as a whole?

ACT OUT: How does the Holy Spirit want to use this text in your life, for others or for yourself? Look at the drama Luke creates as he describes the conversion of Saul of Tarsus! Shown as part of the crowd in chapter 7, Luke puts him center-stage in chapter 9. Saul has become the number-one enemy of the church. He isn’t just doing his duty as a Pharisee, he is threatening believers with every breath (Acts 9:1). His authorization was to arrest Jesus-followers and bring them to Jerusalem, but his motivation against them is much stronger. He was eager to murder them. Thus it is that the man who would become the great Apostle Paul is introduced, ironically, as a lawbreaker (see Matthew 5:21-22).

The dramatic scene which follows (Acts 9:3-19) portrays the supernatural transformation of Saul from an angry persecutor to a chosen apostle. Ananias, a believer in Damascus, takes center stage (Acts 9:10). His vision included the words of Jesus which set Paul apart to be an apostle (Acts 9:15-16). And Luke’s descriptive language of Paul after his conversion, calling him a chosen instrument and “Brother Saul” (Acts 9:17), shows just as much intensity in portraying Paul the Jesus-follower as the descripTon of Saul the persecutor. Right away, Saul began preaching and bearing fruit as a true child of God (Acts 9:20-31). WIth Saul now on Jesus’ team, the church had a season of peace.

Why this dramatic portrayal? The movement known as “the Way,” which is the first title Christians wore, was breaking into the Gentile world. So here Paul, the “Apostle to the Gentiles” (see Rom. 11:13; Gal. 2:8), is presented as the lead-in to Peter’s extended stay at the home of Simon the Tanner where he lived and ministered to Gentiles (Acts 9:32-43). Luke wants his readers to see Paul as equal to Peter in his apostleship. As Luke continues to show the gospel going to the Gentile world, Paul will become the central actor.

Prayer: Lord, how you work in ordinary people and in extraordinary ways is miraculous! Praise you, Jesus, for choosing a man like Saul/Paul to carry your gospel to the nations, and thank you for choosing me!

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