Acts Chapter Nine, A Miraculous Transformation...

In our study of Acts chapter nine, we look at the miraculous transformation of a murderer into an apostle. This can help us to understand that God can use anyone and, in fact, wants to use everyone to fulfill His plan.

Acts 9:1 & 2

"Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord's disciples. He went to the High priest 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." NIV version

Even as the gospel was spreading, there were those that wanted to keep the people from hearing the truth. Saul, who will soon become Paul, was one of those people. He was not content with driving the gospel out of Jerusalem. As we see in this passage, he even got authority to hunt Christians down in other countries (Damascus is in Syria).

Acts 9:3 & 4

"As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, 'Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?'" NIV version

As Saul (Paul) was headed to Damascus to hunt down Christians, God intervened. Notice that when Jesus talked to Saul that He said "why do you persecute me?"

We all, as Christians, will be persecuted but we must keep in mind that it is really God that the people are rejecting and not us. We must also trust that God takes care of His own just as He stepped in to keep Saul from harming His people in Damascus.

Acts 9:5 - 9

"'Who are you, Lord?' Saul asked. 'I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,' he replied. 'Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.' The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. 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. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything." NIV version

The first thing we see from this passage is that, when someone persecutes you as a Christian, they are not persecuting you but Jesus. Notice in the first part of the passage, that Jesus asks Saul why he was persecuting Jesus not the individuals he was searching for. We also see that God can step in and take care of the situation. It probably gets your attention when Jesus speaks and you lose your sight. Another important thing is that some people can be right next to the working of God and see nothing. You see, the men with Saul heard a voice but saw nothing. There are many people today that are so near but yet so far from God and his working.

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