Acts Chapter 9:1-3
Verse of the Week
“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
The Big Idea
When we trust and obey, we personally grow and the kingdom of God grows as well.
We were first introduced to a man named Saul earlier in Acts chapter 7. Saul was actually standing there and supporting the stoning of Stephen. Saul was a very zealous religious man who actually thought he was doing God a service by persecuting Christians. On his way to Damascus, Jesus himself called out to Saul. He said “Why are you persecuting me?” When Saul asked who Jesus was, Jesus answered “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.” Notice how Jesus takes offense to Saul persecuting His church. He said you are persecuting ME! All through scripture we are shown that the Church is the bride of Christ. Could you imagine someone inviting you over for dinner but tells you that your spouse is not invited? You would feel like that person was offending you as well. Jesus is serious about his Church and loves His church which means Jesus is serious about you and loves you.
As Jesus knocked Saul down to the ground and blinded Him, He gave him clear instructions on what His next step was. He was told to get up and go to the city and then he would give him what to do next. Being a follower of Jesus means taking your next step with Jesus. Sometimes it is without knowing what will happen in the next step. We can rest assured that as we take our next step, Jesus will be there with us.
What next step is God telling you to take?
We are now introduced to a man named Ananias. We don’t know much about Ananias but we are told that he was a disciple of Jesus. Jesus also called out to Ananias but unlike Saul, Ananias did not have to question who was calling Him. John 10:27 says “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” Ananias knew Jesus’ voice. His response to Jesus before Jesus told him to do anything was “yes, Lord.” This is what a life that is fully surrendered to Jesus looks like. Ananias was given clear instructions about going to Saul and laying hands on him to restore his sight. Fear immediately sat in Ananias heart because he knew of Saul and what he had done. Jesus then comforted Ananias by telling him his plans for Saul. As Ananais obeyed we get to see a beautiful picture of the power of God and what He does as we surrender our life to Him. Because of Ananais’ obedience, the scales physically and Spiritually fell off Saul's eyes and he could see! Not only could Saul see, but he also took the next step of obedience of being baptized in the name of Jesus.
What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus?
What does it look like to fully surrender to Jesus? Are there any areas of your life that you haven’t fully surrendered to Jesus?
Who is someone that you may be too fearful to share the Gospel with? Why?
After Saul surrendered his life to Jesus, we are told that he spent many days with other believers. We can assume that Saul was being discipled by other believers which spurred Saul on to go out and start sharing the Gospel.
As Saul began to preach the Gospel, many people were still skeptical of Saul and if he had really changed. Unfortunately, we sometimes see this in the churches today. If you are a new believer, don’t let other people’s opinion of you hold you back from the calling that God has placed on you. Be like Saul, and continue to trust and obey Jesus. Verse 22 tells us “Yet Saul grew more and more.” As you trust and obey, the result is growth! Continue to grow in Jesus!
Why is it important to have a biblical community in your life?
How are you growing in your relationship with Jesus?
Weekly Discussion Questions:
What were the key ingredients that made the early church so successful?
What was your main takeaway from this chapter?
What is our next step for this group?