Author: Ron Graham

Book of Acts

Acts 9:1-19
—Verse by verse

This page is a verse by verse study of Acts 9:1-19. These verses describe the conversion of Saul with the assistance of Ananias.

Acts 9

The Conversion of Saul of Tarsus

Verses 1-2

"Saul kept breathing out threats and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues of Damascus. The letters authorized Saul, if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, to bring them bound to Jerusalem." (Acts 9:1-2).

Verses 3-6

"As Saul, on his journey to Damascus, came near the city, suddenly a light from the sky shone around him. He fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” Saul said, “Who are you, Lord?” The Lord replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting. [ It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” So Saul, shaking and astounded, asked, “Lord, what do you want me to do?” The Lord said to Saul,] “Arise and go into the city, and there you will be told what you must do.”" (Acts 9:3-6).

Verses 7-9

"Saul’s companions on the journey stood speechless. They heard the sound, but saw nobody. Saul arose from the ground. Although his eyes were open, he couldn't see anything. His companions led him by the hand, and took him into Damascus. Saul was blind for three days. He didn't eat or drink." (Acts 9:7-9).

Verses 10-12

"There was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!” Ananias said, “Behold Lord, here I am.” The Lord said to him, “Arise, and go to the street named Straight. Inquire at the house of Judas for someone named Saul, a man of Tarsus. For behold, he is praying, and has seen a vision. He saw a man named Ananias coming in and laying his hands on him to give him back his sight.” " (Acts 9:9-12).

Verses 13-16

"Ananias replied, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, and how much evil he did to your saints at Jerusalem. Here in Damascus he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.” But the Lord said to Ananias, “Be on your way to him, for he is my chosen vessel to carry my name before the nations and their kings, and before the children of Israel. I will show him how many things he must suffer for my name’s sake.” " (Acts 9:13-16).

Verses 17-19

"Ananias went on his way. When he entered the house, he laid his hands on Saul. Ananias said, “Brother Saul, the Lord, who appeared to you on the road you were travelling, has sent me. I come so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. Then Saul arose and was baptized. He took food and was strengthened. Saul stayed several days with the disciples who were at Damascus." (Acts 9:17-19).

A Startling Fact

J.W. McGarvey, circa 1823, in his Commentary on Acts tells this most interesting story...

Engaged in a public debate, a few years since, with a Doctor of Divinity of a numerous and powerful party, I determined to apply to him a test which had been employed before by some of my brethren, and charged that he dare not, as he valued his ministerial position, and even his membership in the Church, give to mourners seeking salvation the answers given by inspired men, in the very words, which they employed. He interrupted me, by asking if I intended to insinuate that he would not preach what he believed to be the truth. I replied, that I had no disposition to question his honesty, but that I was stating a startling fact, which ought to be made to ring in the ears of the people. I then told the audience I would put my statement to a test at once, and turning to the Doctor, I said: "Sir, if you had a number of mourners before you, as Peter had on Pentecost, pierced to the heart with a sense of guilt, and exclaiming, What shall we do? would you dare to say to them, 'Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit?' Or, if you were called into a private house, like Ananias, to see man fasting and weeping and praying, would you dare to say to him, 'Why do you tarry? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord?' I pause for a reply." I stood waiting, and the immense audience held their breath, until the silence became painful; but the Doctor hung his head and answered not one word.

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