Submitted by LYNN WADDY
Darleen Garrett served as both hostess and lesson leader for the May 14th meeting of the Wednesday Bible Study Club. The lesson for the meeting was Acts, chapter 9.
Darleen introduced the lesson explaining this chapter contains the most famous conversion story in history – the experience of Saul’s meeting Christ on the road to Damascus. As we have seen in previous lessons, Saul had been viciously persecuting Christians in Jerusalem; he received from the Sanhedrin the writ which allowed him to continue the persecutions in Damascus. He traveled for nearly a week to Damascus, and just as he neared the city, he was struck blind in a violent storm. He heard the voice of God call him by name and tell him to go into the city where he would be told what to do next.
God spoke to a disciple in Damascus named Ananias, revealing to him that Saul was destined to play an important role in the establishment of the early Church. Ananias went to Saul and welcomed him in a sublime act of Christian love into the fellowship of the Christian faith, calling him Brother Saul. Saul’s eyes were healed, and he was baptized.
Saul, now known as Paul, stayed in Damascus with the Disciples, learned from them and began preaching of the love of Jesus. As he grew in knowledge and power, he astonished the disciples with his newfound faith. He went to Arabia for a time and then returned to Damascus for about three years. He then journeyed to Jerusalem. During his travels, he continued to teach and preach about the risen Christ with growing authority and power.
The Jews in the synagogues were so angry at Paul’s change of heart that they decided to kill him to silence him. With the help of some of the disciples, Paul escaped in the dead of night to Jerusalem.