Summer Quarter...Jun...July...Aug 2017:
AUGUST 20, 2017
Scripture Lesson Text
ACTS 9:10 And there was a certain disciple at Da-mas’cus, named An-a-ni’as; and to him said the Lord in a vision, An-a-ni’as. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.
11 And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Ju’das for one called Saul, of Tar’sus: for, behold, he prayeth.
12 And hath seen in a vision a man named An-a-ni’as coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.
13 Then An-a-ni’as answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Je-ru’sa-lem:
14 And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.
15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gen’tiles, and kings, and the children of ls’ra-el:
16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.
17 And An-a-ni’as went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.
18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales:
and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.
19 And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Da-mas’cus.
20 And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.
Called to Proclaim Christ
Lesson: Acts 9:10-20
Read: Acts 9:1-31
TIME: A.D. 32
PLACES: on a road between Jerusalem and Damascus; Damascus
GOLDEN TEXT—”Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel” (Acts 9:15).
THE ROLE OF ANANIAS— Acts 9:10-14
His call (Acts 9:10). The early Christian church spread rapidly, not only in spite of persecution, but because of it. But Saul of Tarsus, a young, fanatical Pharisee, was determined to exterminate this sect wherever it spread.
As Saul journeyed to Damascus, however, he himself was apprehended by the Lord Jesus. Blinded and totally shaken, he was led to Damascus, where he waited three days for further direction (Acts 9:8-9).
Ananias is described as “a certain disciple” in Acts 9:10, that is, as a believer in Jesus Christ. We learn elsewhere that he was also a law-keeping Jew who had a good reputation among the Jews of Damascus (22:12).
His task (Acts 9:11-12). The Lord instructed Ananias to “go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus.” The Lord informed Ananias that Saul was praying at that time. This reveals a complete transformation in him.
Moreover, the Lord told Ananias that Saul was expecting him. In a vision of his own, Saul had seen a man named Ananias come in and place his hands on him in order to restore his sight.
His reservations (Acts 9:13-14). To Ananias, the vision was both surprising and disturbing. The name Saul of Tarsus was enough to stir his greatest fears. Saul’s ferocious reputation had preceded him.
Ananias also knew that Saul had been authorized by the chief priests to arrest Jesus’ followers.
Saul’s alliance with the chief priests is curious, for he was a Pharisee and they were of the Sadducean party. Normally these two sects were at odds with each other, since they differed widely in theology and politics. But they had found common ground in their opposition to Jesus. That continued in their opposition to the church.
THE COMMISSION OF SAUL— Acts 9:15-20
His mission (Acts 9:15-16). We can appreciate Ananias’s reticence, but the Lord’s command was not to be turned aside. He said, “Go thy way: for he is a
chosen vessel unto me”
Christ had chosen Saul to carry His name before the Gentiles and their kings, as well as to the people of Israel. Paul’s primary mission was to carry Jesus’ name to Gentiles.
Saul would stand before a number of earthly rulers—Roman governors Sergius Paulus, Felix, Festus, Gallio, and possibly others. In addition, he testified before Herod Agrippa Ii and the Roman emperor Nero.
Finally, Saul was chosen to bear Christ’s name before the people of Israel. In fact, his practice would be to reach out to the Jews first in every community where he preached. He would never lose his burden for them (cf. Rom. 10:1).
The Lord told Ananias that Saul’s future ministry would be costly. Jesus would reveal to Saul what he would have to suffer for the sake of His name.
His preparation (Acts 9:17-19a). Ananias now obeyed and went to the house where Saul waited. Placing his hands on him, he addressed him as “Brother Saul.” No longer was he the teared inquisitor; he was a beloved member of the Christian family.
Ananias revealed why he had come, saying that the same Jesus who had appeared to Saul on the road outside Damascus had sent him.
At Ananias’s touch, something like scales instantly fell from Saul’s eyes, and his sight was restored on the spot This was a visible sign that the blindness supernaturally imposed had now been supernaturally removed.
Some scholars identify the filling of the Spirit here with the initial giving of the Spirit. But it is quite possible Paul had already received the Spirit at his conversion and was now being empowered by the Spirit for service.
Saul’s preparation ended on a mundane note: “And when he had received meat, he was strengthened” (Acts 9:19). Although perhaps unaware of his physical appetites during his fast, he now must have felt them keenly.
His transformation (Acts 9:19b- 20). The change in Saul was immediately apparent. He spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. He spent time getting to know them and understanding their faith.
But Saul’s transformation became even more evident when he immediately began preaching in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. His encounter with Jesus had changed his mind about Him completely.
Saul was not starting a new religion. He was showing fellow Jews how God had fulfilled His long-standing promises to them through Jesus.
- What had happened to Saul prior to his encounter with Ananias?
- How much do we know about Ananias?
- What task did the Lord assign to Ananias?
- Why did Ananias hesitate to follow the Lord’s command?
- Why was Saul’s previous alliance with the chief priests remarkable?
- What tasks would Saul have as a chosen vessel of Christ?
- in what way would Saul’s future ministry be costly?
- How did Ananias address Saul? Why was this significant?
- What was signified by the restoration of Saul’s eyesight?
- How did Saul’s transformation immediately become clear to believers in Damascus?