MISSION TO THE GENTILES
Conversion of Paul [Acts 9:1-30]
Saul (Paul) got letters from high priests to Synagogue at Damascus to bring bound to Jerusalem those who professed the name of Christ. Approaching Damascus, a sudden light shown, he fell down and heard a voice: “Saul, why do you persecute me?” “Who art thou, Lord” “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. It is hard to kick against the pricks”. Saul then asked what he is to do? Jesus told him to rise and enter the city, you will be told what to do”.
He rose up blind, was led to Damascus, no sight for three days – neither ate or drank. Ananias, a disciple of Jesus, saw a vision; was told to go to a street called straight, ask for the house of Judas for Saul of Tarsus, lay hands on him to regain his sight. Ananias complained of Saul’s murderous intent towards the followers of Christ. But Christ assured him that he is a chosen instrument of mine. Ananias laid hands on Saul who regained his sight, was filled with the Holy Spirit and baptized.
For several days, Saul was with the disciples at Damascus, proclaimed boldly in the Synagogue that Jesus is the son of God. He met with opposition because the Jews that were opposed to the gospel took counsel to kill him. They watch day and night to kill him. But the disciples were aware of it and let him down by the wall through a basket.
At Jerusalem, he attempted to join the disciples, again, they were afraid of him until Barnabas vouched for his sincerity. There was another plot to kill him in Jerusalem. So he was escorted to the coast and shipped off to Tarsus. This was how the Jews reacted to Saul’s (Paul) conversion from Judaism to Christianity.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF SAUL’S CONVERSION [ACTS 9:20-30]
The conversion of Paul on the way to Damascus brought peace to the saint both in Jerusalem and other places. Paul changed from his devotion to Jewish law to devotion to the preaching of the gospel. He was no more the persecutor of the gospel, but the defender of it. Immediately, after his conversion, he began to preach the gospel to people even in the of Jews in Damascus and other places .He was telling them that Jesus was the son of God and this was against the belief of the Jews.