The Conversion of Saul

91 Now Saul , still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord , went to the high priest , 2 and asked for letters from him to the synagogues at Damascus , so that if he found any belonging to the Way , both men and women , he might bring them bound to Jerusalem . 3 As he was traveling , it happened that he was approaching Damascus , and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; 4 and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul , Saul , why are you persecuting Me?" 5 And he said , "Who are You, Lord ?" And He said, "I am Jesus whom you are persecuting , 6 but get up and enter the city , and it will be told you what e you must do ." 7 The men who traveled with him stood speechless , hearing the voice but seeing no one . 8 Saul got up from the ground , and though his eyes were open , he could see nothing ; and leading him by the hand , they brought him into Damascus . 9 And he was three days without sight , and neither ate nor drank .

10 Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias ; and the Lord said to him in a vision , "Ananias ." And he said , "Here I am, Lord ." 11 And the Lord said to him, "Get up and go to the street called Straight , and inquire at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul , for he is praying , 12 and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him, so that he might regain his sight ." 13 But Ananias answered , "Lord , I have heard from many about this man , how much harm he did to Your saints at Jerusalem ; 14 and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name ." 15 But the Lord said to him, "Go , for he is a chosen instrument of Mine , to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel ; 16 for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name's sake ." 17 So Ananias departed and entered the house , and after laying his hands on him said , " Brother Saul , the Lord Jesus , who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming , has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit ." 18 And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales , and he regained his sight , and he got up and was baptized ; 19 and he took food and was strengthened . Now for several days he was with the disciples who were at Damascus ,

Saul Preaches at Damascus

20 and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues , saying , "He is the Son of God ." 21 All those hearing him continued to be amazed , and were saying , "Is this not he who in Jerusalem destroyed those who called on this name , and who had come here for the purpose of bringing them bound before the chief priests ?"

Matthew Henry's Commentary on Acts 9:1-21

Commentary on Acts 9:1-9

(Read Acts 9:1-9)

So ill informed was Saul, that he thought he ought to do all he could against the name of Christ, and that he did God service thereby; he seemed to breathe in this as in his element. Let us not despair of renewing grace for the conversion of the greatest sinners, nor let such despair of the pardoning mercy of God for the greatest sin. It is a signal token of Divine favour, if God, by the inward working of his grace, or the outward events of his providence, stops us from prosecuting or executing sinful purposes. Saul saw that Just One, 14; 26:13. How near to us is the unseen world! It is but for God to draw aside the veil, and objects are presented to the view, compared with which, whatever is most admired on earth is mean and contemptible. Saul submitted without reserve, desirous to know what the Lord Jesus would have him to do. Christ's discoveries of himself to poor souls are humbling; they lay them very low, in mean thoughts of themselves. For three days Saul took no food, and it pleased God to leave him for that time without relief. His sins were now set in order before him; he was in the dark concerning his own spiritual state, and wounded in spirit for sin. When a sinner is brought to a proper sense of his own state and conduct, he will cast himself wholly on the mercy of the Saviour, asking what he would have him to do. God will direct the humbled sinner, and though he does not often bring transgressors to joy and peace in believing, without sorrows and distress of conscience, under which the soul is deeply engaged as to eternal things, yet happy are those who sow in tears, for they shall reap in joy.

Commentary on Acts 9:10-22

(Read Acts 9:10-22)

A good work was begun in Saul, when he was brought to Christ's feet with those words, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And never did Christ leave any who were brought to that. Behold, the proud Pharisee, the unmerciful oppressor, the daring blasphemer, prayeth! And thus it is even now, and with the proud infidel, or the abandoned sinner. What happy tidings are these to all who understand the nature and power of prayer, of such prayer as the humbled sinner presents for the blessings of free salvation! Now he began to pray after another manner than he had done; before, he said his prayers, now, he prayed them. Regenerating grace sets people on praying; you may as well find a living man without breath, as a living Christian without prayer. Yet even eminent disciples, like Ananias, sometimes stagger at the commands of the Lord. But it is the Lord's glory to surpass our scanty expectations, and show that those are vessels of his mercy whom we are apt to consider as objects of his vengeance. The teaching of the Holy Spirit takes away the scales of ignorance and pride from the understanding; then the sinner becomes a new creature, and endeavours to recommend the anointed Saviour, the Son of God, to his former companions.