Monday 11 May 2020

Bible Book:

‘Saul, why do you persecute me?’ (v. 4)

Acts 9:1-20 Monday 11 May 2020

Psalm: Psalm 37:1-11


Our passage describes a turning-point, not only in the life of an individual but in the development and spread of the Christian faith. At this point in Acts the central character is called by his Jewish name, Saul; later he will be referred to, as he still is, by his Roman name, Paul. He has been a fanatical persecutor of the followers of Jesus, with the result they began to spread northward from Jerusalem to, among other places, Damascus. Saul is in hot pursuit when he has a vision of Jesus, risen from the dead. Led into the town, he is visited by Ananias, recovers his sight and is baptized.

We may sympathise with Ananias and admire his courage. His hesitations are expressed in verses 13-14. If he visits Saul will he be walking into a trap? Is it credible that Saul should have come to believe in Jesus? Nevertheless he is obedient to the Lord’s commission.

Two details deserve attention. The risen Jesus identifies himself to Saul as the one who is being persecuted (v.4). The sufferings of his followers are Jesus’ own.

In verses 15-16, Jesus tells Saul he is to be a witness to Jew and Gentile alike, not just by what he says but by the suffering he will undergo.


To Ponder:

  • Is it necessary to have had a dramatic ‘Damascus road’ type of experience to be a genuine Christian?
  • What would you have done in Ananias’ shoes?
  • Think about Christians in parts of the world where they are persecuted for their faith. What should we pray for them?
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