Acts Chapter 9

March 10, 2011

This Preaching in Shorts Bible study is on the Book of Acts. Each chapter is read verse by verse with the major points highlighted and discussed.

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Acts Chapter 9 from Preaching In Shorts on Vimeo.

Acts 9:1-43 (NIV)
1 Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” 5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. 6 “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” 7 The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. 8 Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. 9 For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything. 10 In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!” “Yes, Lord,” he answered. 11 The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. 12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.” 13 “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem. 14 And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.” 15 But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.” 17 Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord–Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here–has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, 19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength. Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. 20 At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. 21 All those who heard him were astonished and asked, “Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?” 22 Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Christ. 23 After many days had gone by, the Jews conspired to kill him, 24 but Saul learned of their plan. Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him. 25 But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall. 26 When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus. 28 So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord. 29 He talked and debated with the Grecian Jews, but they tried to kill him. 30 When the brothers learned of this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus. 31 Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord. 32 As Peter traveled about the country, he went to visit the saints in Lydda. 33 There he found a man named Aeneas, a paralytic who had been bedridden for eight years. 34 “Aeneas,” Peter said to him, “Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and take care of your mat.” Immediately Aeneas got up. 35 All those who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord. 36 In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which, when translated, is Dorcas), who was always doing good and helping the poor. 37 About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room. 38 Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, “Please come at once!” 39 Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them. 40 Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up. 41 He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called the believers and the widows and presented her to them alive. 42 This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord. 43 Peter stayed in Joppa for some time with a tanner named Simon.

Acts 9:1-9

Saul is hard after the church and asks fro letters from the high priests that would allow him to go the synagogues in Damascus and arrest any Christians he found there and bring them back as prisoners to Jerusalem.

On his journey to Damascus he hits a bit of a snag named Jesus.

A light from heaven flashes, Saul falls to the ground and Jesus asks him, “Saul, why do you persecute me? Notice that Jesus does not say, “Why are you persecuting my church, he says why are you persecuting me”? This statement demonstrated the union of Jesus and the Church. It is a picture of what it means to be “in Christ” which Paul would communicate throughout his writings in the New Testament.

Paul says “who are you, Lord?” and in verse 17 Jesus identifies himself. Paul might not have immediately figured out it was Jesus, but he knew he was in the presence of someone supernatural.

Jesus tells Paul to go into the city and he will then be told what to do. Paul discovers he is blind and goes into the city where he fasts for three days.

Acts 9:10-18

The Lord call to Ananias in a vision and tells him to go to Saul and pray for him.

I love Ananias response. Uh, Lord, I have heard a lot about this guy, maybe you haven’t heard but he is here to arrest people like me.

Jesus says “GO” and Ananias obeys and goes and lays hands on Saul and his sight is restored and he is filled with the Holy Spirit.

He is also told about the suffering he would go through in Jesus name. Paul records what this looks like later on in his ministry:

2 Corinthians 11:23-27 (NIV)
23 Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.

Acts 9:19-25

Saul starts preaching Jesus in the Damascus synagogues to the Jews. This would be the pattern on his missionary journeys in the future. He would start with the Jews and then go on from there.

The Jewish leaders in Damascus conspire to kill Saul and so the believers (followers is the term used pointing to Sauls ability to be a leader) lower him in a basket outside the wall of the city since the gated were guarded.

Saul went to Damascus to persecute believers. He ends up going there blind and leaving in a basket being rescued by believers and persecuted by the Jews.

Acts 9:26-31

Saul heads to Jerusalem, but the believers there don’t trust him. So, our old friend Barnabas, the son of encouragement, takes him and introduces him to the Apostles and vouches for him.

Saul preaches with great success in Jerusalem and once again the Jewish leaders want to have him killed so the believers escort him to Ceasarea and then send him to his home town of Tarsus.

Saul would spend about 10 years in Tarsus preparing for the ministry that God had for him.

Acts 9:32-43

These verses picture the preparation of Peter for the experience he is about to have with Cornelius in Chapter 10 where the first gentiles are brought into the church.

1. There are two miracles recorded, the healing of a bedridden man named Aeneas, and Tabitha being raised from the dead. These miracles confirmed in a major way his ministry.

2. Peter was ministering in an area where there were a number of gentiles.

3. He is living in the home of Simon the tanner. Tanners were considered to be ceremonially unclean because they were constantly in contact with the skins of dead animals .

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