A certain man.

Acts 9
33 There he found a certain man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden eight years and was paralyzed. 34 And Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus the Christ heals you. Arise and make your bed.” Then he arose immediately. 35 So all who dwelt at Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.

This makes me so joyful! Miracles, that turn people to the Lord. The love of the Father, shown in mercy and grace.

From my commentary:
If we will be like Peter, who went through all parts of the country, then we will also find opportunities for the miraculous power of God.

Traveling Ministry

Acts 9
32 Now it came to pass, as Peter went through all parts of the country, that he also came down to the saints who dwelt in Lydda.

So it looks like we are back to Peter now. Most of this chapter was following Saul.

According to my commentary:
Peter went through all parts of the country to do ministry, traveling the 35 miles (55 kilometers) from Jerusalem to Lydda.

35 miles back in the day was not a short car ride! So the apostles are now bringing their ministry on the road instead of having people come to them.

Afflicted?

Acts 9
31 Then the [g]churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified.[h] And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.

Commentary:
Often, God wants the comfortable to be afflicted (gaining the fear of the Lord) and the afflicted to be comforted (by the comfort of the Holy Spirit).

This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever read.

God NEVER wants us to be afflicted.

Afflicted: cause pain or suffering to; affect or trouble.

You can fear God without affliction. We bring on AFFLICTION when we walk outside of the protection of God. Now persecution is what is unavoidable. We will be persecuted for what we believe.

How are we to minister to the lost if we tell them the instant they are comforted or comfortable, they will be afflicted?

Down time.

Acts 9
29 And he spoke boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus and disputed against the Hellenists,[f] but they attempted to kill him. 30 When the brethren found out, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him out to Tarsus.

From my commentary:
For his own protection, the Christians in Jerusalem sent him out to Tarsus. Somewhere between 8 and 12 years passed in the life of Saul before he again entered into prominent ministry, being sent out as a missionary from the church at Antioch. At that time, it would also be Barnabas who reached out to Saul, remembering him and loving him.

He was Saul of Tarsus, the young, successful, energetic rabbi. Then he was Saul the Persecutor; then Saul the Blind. He became Saul the Convert and then Saul the Preacher. Yet before he became Paul the Apostle, he spent somewhere between 8 and 12 years as Saul the unknown. Those were not wasted years; they were good and necessary years
.

So Paul went for about 8-12 years and probably prayed and studied like no other. God will sometimes hide you for a period so you can get your heart, mind and body in a spot where He can use you.

A little off topic.

Acts 9
27 But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. And he declared to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. 28 So he was with them at Jerusalem, coming in and going out.

My commentary for this scripture says this:
Barnabas simply extended the love of Jesus to Saul, and as Paul would write later, love believes all things (1 Corinthians 13:7).

This was a very interesting thought, so I decided to look it up:
From my commentary:
Love… believes all things: We never believe a lie, but we never believe evil unless the facts demand it. We choose to believe the best of others.

“Love, as far as she can, believes in her fellows. I know some persons who habitually believe everything that is bad, but they are not the children of love… I wish the chatterers would take a turn at exaggerating other people’s virtues, and go from house to house trumping up pretty stories of their acquaintances.” (Spurgeon)

I think the key here, is to see the best in your Christian brothers and sisters. Let the Holy Spirit be your guide on what is not truth. Instead of negativity being a first response, make it positivity!

Three years later…

Acts 9
26 When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple.

From my commentary:
It seems strange that Christians in Jerusalem were so suspicious of Saul even three years after his conversion. They perhaps thought that Saul was part of an elaborate and extended plot; they perhaps wondered why he went off by himself for a while in Arabia; or just as likely, they probably were reluctant to embrace such a dramatic conversion without seeing it with their own eyes.

Things are already getting rough for Paul.

Acts 9
23 After many days had gone by, there was a conspiracy among the Jews to kill him, 24 but Saul learned of their plan. Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him. 25 But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall.

I did a little digging and didnt find a lot of information regarding this attempt at Saul’s life. However, my commentary included this gem:

But their plot became known to Saul: If Saul now knew what it was to be persecuted for his faith, he also knew the mighty deliverance of God. Saul enjoyed divine protection until his ministry was complete before God.

I once had a friend who said “do not fear death, if you have unfulfilled prophesy in your life.”

God will always finish the work He has for you as long as you remain obedient!

Growing in Power?

Acts 9
21 All those who heard him were astonished and asked, “Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?” 22 Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah.

This is how quickly you can turn your life around. In a short times notice Saul is preaching in the power of Christ in a baffling way.

Adding in some confusion:
Contemporary English Version
Saul preached with such power that he…

Word English Bible
But Saul increased more in strength, and confounded….

These translations seem very far apart. One makes it sound like he was gaining strength. The other makes it sound like he gained more wisdom.
I wonder if the truth is somewhere in between. Saul was growing in the strength through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.

Where did the knowledge come from?

Acts 9:19 19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength. Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. 20 At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. 

Where did Pauls knowledge of Christ come from?

Did the Lord just reveal himself with all knowledge? Paul was previously persecuting all these people. So he probably had not taken the time to learn all about there ways. We do know Paul had an extensive education, so they more than likely helped a lot.

Seeing Again.

Acts 9
17 And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”

Ananias called him “brother.” There was no more argument from Ananias to God. Ananias went “full send.”

Interesting commentary:
 “It is often said that Saul was converted on the road to Damascus. Strictly speaking, this is not the fact. His conversion began in his encounter with the law but it was not accomplished until the gospel entered his heart by faith, and that did not occur on the road, but in Damascus.” (Lenski)

Our life changing experiences do not start when we hit rock bottom. It is only after we find the solution ON the bottom.