Summary: Most of this chapter revolves around Saul of Tarsus and how he met the Risen Lord Jesus on the Damascus Road. This outline could be expanded into a series or condensed into a single message.

Introduction: Acts 9 contains two sections. Verses 1-31 contain the conversion of Saul of Tarsus, the ministry of Ananias of Damascus to Saul, and Saul’s early ministry to the people of Damascus. He then fled Damascus, made his way back to Jerusalem, but returned to Tarsus because people wanted to kill him!

Verses 32 and following describe two different accounts in the life and ministry of Peter. There will be another outline for those two incidents, D.V.

1 Saul of Tarsus and the “Damascus Road” experience

Text, Acts 9:1-9, KJV: 1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, 2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. 3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: 4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. 6 And he trembling and astonished 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. 7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. 8 And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. 9 And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.


--This follows, chronologically, the events of chapters 6 and 7, following the trial and execution (martyrdom) of Stephen. The last verses of chapter 7 tell how Stephen’s message angered the religious leaders so much that they “cast him out of the city” and the men who stoned Stephen to death placed their clothing at Saul’s feet.

--How much, or what kind, of effect, this had on Saul is anybody’s guess: after this, he basically waged war against the believers in Jesus. He searched Jerusalem to find believers and had some of them arrested, even voting for the death penalty against some (Acts 26:9-11, paraphrased). Later, however, he still remembered what had happened to Stephen and how he had watched over the clothing of those who stoned Stephen (Acts 22:17-20, paraphrased).

--Damascus was over 100 miles from Jerusalem. That meant nothing to Saul, as he was ready to arrest any believers in Jesus (“any of this way,” verse 2) he could find and take them back—bound—to Jerusalem. Saul would have had to go through Samaria and Galilee to reach Damascus but nothing is said of his journey until he came “near Damascus (verse 3)”.

--The irony: Saul was leading a group of people (from Jerusalem?) to Damascus (verse 7) but after he saw the risen Jesus, he was blind! These same people he led, now led him by the hand. Saul was basically helpless at this time!

--Saul eventually did arrive at Damascus, but not at all like he imagined. More, however, was in store for him.

2 Ananias of Damascus and the “Street called Straight” experience

Text, Acts 9:10-19, KJV: 10 And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. 11 And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, 12 And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight. 13 Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: 14 And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. 15 But 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: 16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake. 17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. 18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. 19 And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus.

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