Acts Chapter Nine (NIV)
Acts Chapter Nine (NASB)
Verses 1-19: Saul, the leading persecutor of the Christians, becomes a believer after witnessing an appearance of the risen Lord.
Verses 20-25: Saul proclaims Jesus in Damascus angering the Jews, from whose murderous conspiracy he escapes.
Verses 26-31: In Jerusalem, Barnabas assures the wary disciples that Saul was truly one of the brethren. Saul preaches in Jerusalem.
Verses 32-43: Peter heals a paralytic and raises a dead woman back to life.
II. KEY PASSAGES
(A) Acts 9:3-18--In Isaiah 6:9, the Lord says to the prophet “Go and tell this people: 'Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving. Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.’” It seems fitting that Saul, Pharisee and student of Gamaliel, who thought he could “see” the truth about God, is blinded when confronted with Christ’s radiant reality on the road to Damascus. This brief period of blindness allowed Saul to truly see and “understand with his heart,” so that he could “turn and be healed” of both the spiritual and physical blindness.
(B) Acts 9:22-23, 26-31--Saul’s arguments proving that Jesus was the Messiah confounds the Jews in Damascus whose response is to plot to kill him. Similarly, Saul’s proclamations of the gospel in Jerusalem lead to disputes with the Hellenists. Time and again, we find Saul arousing the anger of those around him with his bold preaching and powerful argumentation. It is interesting how the response of these people when they fail to overcome Saul’s reasoning is not to reconsider their positions but rather to scheme murder.
(C) Acts 9:35, 42--Just as the miraculous resurrection of the Lord Jesus established His claims, miracles performed by the power of the Holy Spirit result in many people believing in Him.
When Paul encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus it is interesting to note that Paul's companions also heard a sound (Acts 9:7). They were not privy to the detailed revelation but were independent witnesses that something real had happened.
Is it recorded that Mohammad's companions received similar signs that Mohammad's revelations were objective- or must we rely on Mohammad's word for this?
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