Acts 9: Saul is converted
Saul went to the High Priest to seek letters in the synagogues to find men or women with whom he could bound and bring back to Jerusalem to persecute. While on his journey, Saul passes near Damascus when “…suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: …saying Saul, Saul, why persecutes thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutes… And he trembling and stonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.” (Acts 9:3-6)
Those who were with Saul at this time, stood speechless; “…hearing a voice, but seeing no man.” (Acts 9:7) When Saul arose from the ground, he was blinded and could not see any man, so they had to guide him by his hand into the city. Upon arriving in the city, Saul spent three days without sight and did not eat or drink.
In Damascus there was a man named Ananias, who was a disciple of the Lord, the Lord came to him in a vision and told him to “…Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold her prayeth, And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.” (Acts 9:11-12) Ananias must have been confused as to why the Lord would want him to help heal a man who had been terrorizing and persecuting those who followed Him. Ananias asks; “…Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints in Jerusalem: And here he hath authority from the chief priest to bind all that call on his name.” (Acts 9:13-14) Besides being confused, Ananias was most likely terrified to go and ask to see a man who had persecuted so many of the members of the Church. Nevertheless, the Lord said unto him; “…Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel. For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.” (Acts 9:15-16)
Ananias did as he was commanded and went to the house were Saul was, and upon entering, he put his hands on him and blessed him that he would receive his sight. Immediately Saul’s sight returned and he was baptized and given the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Saul also ate and received strength, to begin his calling. Once his strength had returned, Saul went throughout the Synagogues preaching of Christ, after many days of preaching the Jews sought council “…to kill him.” (Acts 9:23)
In order to avoid being killed, Saul hides in a basket and is transported over the walls of Damascus to meet with the Apostles in Jerusalem. Upon arriving in Jerusalem, the Christians who meet him are at first weary of him, because of his past. Very few believed that he had actually been converted. However, Barnabas took him to meet the Apostles. Saul goes and preaches among the Grecians, but they too seek to destroy his life. So, Saul continues his journey into Caesarea and Tarsus where the churches in Judea, Galilee and Samaria prosper!
Meanwhile, Peter is in Lydda, where he heals a bedridden man named Eneas, who had been sick for eight years with Palsy. Because of this miracle, all in Lydda believe on the Lord. Because of this great miracle people came from nearby Joppa to find Peter and have him come and heal a woman, who turns out to be dead. Peter raises the woman [Dorcas] from the dead and the news spreads throughout Joppa and many believe on the Lord. Peter finds rest in the house of Simon, who was a Tanner [someone who worked with dead Animals], this was actually against the Jewish Law, to spend time with someone who worked routinely with dead animals.