Introduction and Prayer
Read Acts 1:8 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Read Acts 9:1-2
Meanwhile, Saul was uttering threats with every breath and was eager to kill the Lord’s followers. So he went to the high priest. 2 He requested letters addressed to the synagogues in Damascus, asking for their cooperation in the arrest of any followers of the Way he found there. He wanted to bring them—both men and women—back to Jerusalem in chains.
Why would Saul, a pharisee, hate Jesus and His followers?
Have you met someone who was opposed to Christianity to the extent that they seemed to hate Christianity?
What are some of the reasons people have hated Christianity throughout history?
Read Acts 9:3-6
3 As he was approaching Damascus on this mission, a light from heaven suddenly shone down around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?” 5 “Who are you, lord?” Saul asked. And the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting! 6 Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
We don’t hear a response when Saul realizes it is Jesus speaking to him. Why do you think there is no response?
How do we respond when the Spirit of God interrupts our sinfulness?
Read Acts 9:7-9
7 The men with Saul stood speechless, for they heard the sound of someone’s voice but saw no one! 8 Saul picked himself up off the ground, but when he opened his eyes he was blind. So his companions led him by the hand to Damascus. 9 He remained there blind for three days and did not eat or drink.
What is the result of Saul seeing the light of Christ?
Paul later describes Jesus in I Timothy 6:16 “as the one who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see.” How has this moment in Acts seeing the light of Jesus changed Saul forever?
In what ways do you think it changed him? What are some of the things he may have been thinking as he remains blind without food or water for three days?
How do you think Saul’s encounter changed those around him? Does the light of Christ in our lives change those around us?
How do we communicate the encounter we have had with God to those around us? Do we communicate it at all?
Read Acts 9:10
10 Now there was a believer in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord spoke to him in a vision, calling, “Ananias!” “Yes, Lord!” he replied.
How does Ananias respond to God? What can we learn from his initial response?
How often do we answer “yes” to God before we know the ask?
Read Acts 9:11-14
11 The Lord said, “Go over to Straight Street, to the house of Judas. When you get there, ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul. He is praying to me right now. 12 I have shown him a vision of a man named Ananias coming in and laying hands on him so he can see again.” 13 “But Lord,” exclaimed Ananias, “I’ve heard many people talk about the terrible things this man has done to the believers in Jerusalem! 14 And he is authorized by the leading priests to arrest everyone who calls upon your name.”
Why do you think Ananias responds to God in this manner? Why is he concerned with this instruction from God?
What are some reasons we may hesitate to obey God at times?
What role does fear play in our hesitance to obedience?
Think on This…
Read Acts 9:15-19 But the Lord said, “Go, for Saul is my chosen instrument to take my message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel. 16 And I will show him how much he must suffer for my name’s sake.” 17 So Ananias went and found Saul. He laid his hands on him and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road, has sent me so that you might regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Instantly something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he got up and was baptized. 19 Afterward he ate some food and regained his strength.
Think about how much courage it took Ananias to approach Saul. Describe a moment when God asked you to do something that was difficult for you—maybe something you felt was completely out of your comfort zone?