Acts 9

Saul heads for Damascus to round up and jail Christians there.
Jesus knocks him over and blinds him with a bright light, and tells him to enter Damascus and await instructions.  Jesus speaks to a Christian there, Ananias, telling him to go restore Saul's sight.  Ananias is skeptical, having heard of the persecutions Saul has carried on, but Jesus says He has chosen him to bring the gospel to many.  Ananias goes, heals and baptizes Saul.

The next Sabbath he is preaching and persuading that Jesus is the Christ and God's Son.  The Jews oppose and conspire to kill him, so he escapes the city at night.  Back in Jerusalem the church won't accept him until Barnabas advocates for him to the apostles.  The Jews again seek to kill him, and the church sends him home to Tarsus for a while.

Peter heals Aeneas (name of Rome's founder) and raises Dorcas to life in and near Joppa.

How this is about Jesus
Jesus continues to act powerfully, though He is not on earth.
He knocks Saul down and speaks to Ananias.
He uses Saul's debating skill to confound the Jews.

  • Luke hints masterfully at the main theme of his book - the Gospel going to Gentiles - in this chapter.  Joppa is where Jonah went to run from God.  Peter's father's name was Jonah.  Jonah is all about a Jewish prophet's refusal to take the gospel to Gentiles.  Aeneas, namesake of Rome, is healed - Rome has been sick a long time and can only recover through Christ.
  • It seems the timing between the conversion of Saul and the beginning of his ministry are different.  Though Saul was a believer and powerful debater, he made people mad more than he converted them.  He is in the "cage stage," the time right after conversion when you are so on fire for the Lord you can do more damage in speaking to others about Him than good.  The church wisely sends him home to study, reorient himself for a while.  Then again, when Saul does begin to minister, he still angers the Jews, so his demeanor certainly isn't the only factor.

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