Conversion of Saul
The mention of Damascus proves the gospel had now spread to Syria and this rapid spread had been partly due to persecution.
Saul’s intention was to apprehend believers (believing Jews) and bring them bound to Jerusalem (100 miles) by the authority of the chief priest.
The light that shone around him was from heaven and was a revelation of the glorious body of the risen Christ (like the transfiguration and Christ’s appearing to John in Revelation).
Christ spoke accusing Paul of persecuting himself.
This appearance was important because it was his initial conversion and call to apostleship (an apostle had to have seen and be called by Christ personally). See also Acts 22:5-11, 26:14ff and I Cor.15:9,10.
Saul knew it was the Lord when he declared himself to be Jesus.
To kick against the pricks, a picture from animal husbandry, means to resist Christ and his work either in the conscience or providence or his people.
Initially it appears Paul did not know who spoke and he was seeking instruction regarding his own salvation.
The men with Saul heard the voice but did not really hear it (Isaiah 6:9) and saw the light but “no man”. The revelation and real illumination was only for Paul (II Cor.4:6).
We think Paul was struck blind as a sign of his own blindness and to show God’s power, humble him and then heal him (Deut.28:28, Rev.3:17) Others struck with blindness were the Sodomites (Gen.19:11), the sorcerer Elymas (Acts 13:11)and the syrian soldiers (II Kings 6:18).
Paul did not eat or drink for three days because of the massive spiritual upheaval and probably mourning over his sin and as an aid to prayer.
Saul’s conversion was anything but the norm and truly supernatural and unique because he was to be a special example of grace(I Tim.1:13-15), told how much he would suffer and be specially used by God as a master church builder. It would also become well known as his persecution was (Acts 9:21).
Next study (DV) Saturday April 27th on Acts 9:10-22