9 But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. 3 Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” 5 And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. 6 But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” 7 The men who were travelling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. 8 Saul rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. So they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. 9 And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.
10 Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” 11 And the Lord said to him, “Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying, 12 and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” 13 But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem. 14 And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.” 15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. 16 For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” 17 So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized; 19 and taking food, he was strengthened.
For some days he was with the disciples at Damascus.
POINTS OF INTEREST
- Verse 5 – I remember one verse in Colossians 1:24, …his body which is the church. To attack any part of the body (the church) is to attack (or to persecute) God. All brothers and sisters are united in Christ as different parts of the body (the church). May the Holy Spirit help us continually to pray for those churches under political persecution or prohibition of evangelism.
- Acts 9:10-19 Lord Jesus called to Ananias in a vision and sent him to restore his sight. Ananias had heard lots of reports about all the harm Saul had been doing to the believers in Jerusalem, so he himself was quite worried and afraid to visit Saul. Ananias seemed to question this plan and doubt Saul’s conversion. However, he still went ahead with the plan after the Lord reiterated that Saul was his chosen instrument.
- Verse 9:17 “Then Ananias went …” When I read this verse, I am reminded of another verse “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD? To obey is better than to sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.” (1 Samuel 15:22). For those obeying God’s commands we are reminded that we will always be blessed.
- verse 9:17 …he said, ” Brother Saul, …” I’m deeply moved that God’s love has been penetrating Ananias’s heart through the Holy Spirit. He surrendered to God’s love and was willing to love and pray for Saul. I recall Jesus saying, dwell in the love of the Lord and to love one another, as the Lord loves us. It reminds me to be God-centered instead of self-centered. To have our minds not to set on what the flesh desires; but to set on what the Spirit desires and walk with the Holy Spirit in order to understand the Father’s good, pleasing and perfect plan for His people and His Kingdom.
- verse 9:17 ” … you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Through reading this, I’m deeply grateful for God’s mercy to open my spiritual eyes to see Jesus as my saviour, and be baptized with the Holy Spirit.
PRAYING IN FAITH
Pray that we will walk with the Holy Spirit moment by moment. Let us pray that we will be sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit and to be dependent and obedient to the guidance.
For Your Five
May the Holy Spirit pour God’s love in to our brother/sister’s hearts. Pray that God’s words will be their deepest satisfaction and that they will joyfully experience God’s presence.
For Our Church
May the Holy Spirit help us to be alert always and let us pray for other churches within the UK. May our lives be transformed to mirror Christ, so much so it will affect those around us.