The events following Saul’s conversion.
Ananias was a disciple of Christ living in Damascus and also a prophet (all who see visions are either an apostle or prophet).
A vision is a supernatural audio-visual event through which God communicates with a person or reveals heavenly truth. Visions occurred with Jacob, Moses and the elders, King Saul, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Zechariah and the apostle John (among others).
Ananias was told to go to Straight Street to Judas’ house to find Paul who was praying.
We do not know for what Paul prayed but we could guess it concerned regaining his sight and also getting direction from Christ (9:6).
The Lord also gave Paul a vision of Ananias coming to him.
Ananias was reluctant understandably because he had heard of Saul’s reputation for persecuting God’s people.
In explaining to Ananias the Lord makes clear that the tables would be turned and Paul would be terribly persecuted and suffer for Christ-this was revealed to Paul so that he knew and counted the cost of discipleship (Luke 14:28,31). The rest of the book of Acts and II Cor. 6:6 and 11:24-33 bear witness.
The laying on of hands served to confer spiritual gifts/ordain, heal, show care for and identification with the recipient. It was typical of Christ and the apostles and continues in ordinations in Reformed churches today (see Mark 5:23, 16:18, Acts 8:18, 28:18, I Tim.4:14, 5:22, Heb.6:2).
Ananias called Paul “brother” because the Lord had told him of his conversion and future service. His attitude to Paul had changed.
The Lord had to have told Ananias what had happened to Saul.
Saul/Paul received the Holy Spirit through Ananias’ hands.
Saul knew baptism was commanded to signify and seal the washing away of his sins.
Saul began to preach that Christ was the Son of God because this was his calling among the Jews. He went for some time alone into Arabia, then back to Damascus and then some years later to Jerusalem (Gal.1:12, 17,18, I Tim.1:11, Gal.2:2, Acts 24 and 26).
The Jews were initially amazed but later started to violently persecute him.
Saul’s knowledge of and faith in Christ was strengthened.
He was able to prove from Scripture that Jesus was the Messiah and refute their arguments to the contrary. Note that with regard later to Agrippa and Festus he used more personal testimony. Our witness includes God’s word (and church preaching), personal testimony and life (I Peter 3:1, 3:15).
Next study (DV) May 18th