Acts 9:1-9 Saul asked permission from the High Priest to travel to Damascus in Samaria and drag back the Christians to Jerusalem and put them in jail. On his way, a light from heaven blinded him to the ground. Jesus spoke to Saul and asked why he was persecuting Him. Jesus commanded Saul, now blind, to enter the city and wait for further instructions. Saul did not eat or drink for three days.
Notes: The apostle Paul was originally named Saul, after the first king of Israel. He was born a Jew, studied in Jerusalem under Gamaliel (22:3), and became a Pharisee (23:6). He was also a Roman citizen, a right he inherited from his father (22:28). Verses 1–19 of ch. 9 record the external facts of his conversion (see also 22:1–22; 26:9–20). Philippians 3:1–14 records the internal spiritual conversion.
a light from heaven. The appearance of Jesus Christ in glory (cf. 22:6; 26:13), visible only to Saul (26:9). Saul’s persecution represented a direct attack on Christ.
Acts 9:10-19 The Lord spoke to a disciple named Ananias and told him to seek out Saul in order to lay his hands on him so that he would receive his sight back. Ananias was afraid to go, but the Lord Jesus said that Saul was chosen to be a special servant to carry His name to the Gentiles, Kings, and to the children of Israel. Saul would see how much suffering was involved for the sake of His name. Ananias did what Jesus asked, and Saul received back his sight and was filled with the Holy Spirit and was baptized.
Acts 9:20-31 Saul immediately started preaching about Jesus in Damascus. The people could not believe that this was the same man who was persecuting the church. The Jews plotted to kill Saul, but he escaped learning in advance of the plot. Saul returned to Jerusalem and tried to see the disciples, but they were afraid and did not believe that he was a changed man. Barnabas befriended Saul and brought him before the Apostles, told his conversion story, and they accepted him, allowing him to come and go and preach in Jerusalem. Saul debated with the Hellenists, and when the disciples learned of their plot to kill Saul, they sent him away to Caesarea and off to his hometown of Tarsus. With Saul on their side, the church in Judea, Galilee and Samaria had peace and continued to grow.
Notes: Paul disappeared from prominent ministry for several years, although he possibly founded some churches around Syria and Cilicia.
Acts 9:32-43 Sometime later, Peter healed a paralyzed man named Aeneas in Lydda. The people of the city and in the city of Sharon saw the miracle and turned to the Lord. After that, a great disciple named Tabitha who lived in the town of Joppa (next store to Lydda) became ill and died. The disciples from Lydda came to Peter in Joppa and begged him to come quickly. When Peter came, he told everyone to leave the room where Tabitha laid dead. Praying, Peter told Tabitha to rise, and she immediately opened her eyes and came back to life. Many in Joppa believed in the Lord because of the miracle performed through Peter.
Notes: While it was customary to bury a body immediately, the believers in Joppa had another plan.