Paul (Saul) meets God

Acts 9:1-22, AD35-AD37. Paul meets Jesus and changes direction.

Paul becomes a follower of Jesus after an encounter with Jesus or God about noon on the road to Damascus.

Paul’s background was a first-century Rabbinical Jew, who also was a member of the Sanhedrin. Paul’s rabbinical teacher was Gamaliel.

Saul is a Jewish name and Paul is Roman: he was both a Jew and a Roman citizen this is why the book of Acts used Paul as there is belief that the book was for Paul’s Roman Trail.

Paul in Hebrew means little – some believe this refers to his stature.

Background Reading:

Saul (Paul) Becomes a Believer

9:1 Meanwhile, still spewing death threats against the Lord’s disciples, Saul went to the high priest. 2 He asked him for letters to take with him to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any men or women belonging to the Way, he might bring them in chains to Jerusalem. 3 As Saul traveled along and was approaching Damascus, a light from heaven suddenly flashed around him. 4 He dropped to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul! Why are you persecuting me?”

5 He asked, “Who are you, Lord?”

The voice said, “I’m Jesus, whom you are persecuting. 6 Now get up, go into the city, and you will be told what you are to do.”

7 Meanwhile, the men who were traveling with Saul were standing speechless, for they heard the voice but didn’t see anyone. 8 When Saul got up off the ground, he couldn’t see anything, even though his eyes were open. So his companions took him by the hand and led him into Damascus. 9 For three days he couldn’t see, and he didn’t eat or drink anything.

10 Now in Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called out to him in a vision, “Ananias!”

He answered, “Here I am, Lord.”

11 The Lord told him, “Get up, go to the street called Straight, and in the home of Judas look for a man from Tarsus named Saul. At this very moment he’s praying. 12 He has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so he would see again.”

13 But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard many people tell how much evil this man has done to your saints in Jerusalem. 14 He is here with authority from the high priests to put in chains all who call on your name.”

15 But the Lord told him, “Go, because he’s my chosen instrument to carry my name to unbelievers, to their kings, and to the descendants of Israel. 16 since I’m going to show him how much he must suffer for my name’s sake.”

Saul’s Sight is Restored

17 So Ananias left and went to that house. He laid his hands on Saul and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were traveling, has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 All at once something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again.

He got up and was baptized, 19 and after eating some food, he felt strong again. For several days he stayed with the disciples in Damascus. 20 He immediately started to preach about Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “This is the Son of God.”

21 Everyone who heard him was astonished and said, “This is the man who harassed those who were calling on Jesus’ name in Jerusalem, isn’t it? Didn’t he come here to bring them in chains to the high priests?” 22 But Saul grew more and more persuasive, and continued to confound the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that this man was the Messiah.
Acts 9:1–22
Also read Acts 26:9-18

More Information:

Paul studied under the greatest teachers of the time and was heading for the top in his religion. Paul was a disciplined learner and excelled in his search for knowledge.

Paul was to become known as Paul the Apostle. He had an encounter with Jesus while traveling with a letter to the priests in Damascus to arrest Christians and put them in jail.

Other slides in this module: