Acts 9

Acts 9


Acts 9 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

Saul

We are reminded here in chapter 9 that even the most rebellious and hard-hearted people can be powerfully used by God. In fact, I believe wholeheartedly in the saying, “whoever is forgiven much, loves much.”

Here, we have a perfect example of that in Saul. It is fitting his eyes are made blind as the metaphor fits his heart. He was blinded for so long as a hypocrite and Pharisee. In his eyes, however, he was justified like Elijah before the prophets of Baal. He thought he was doing a service to Israel and to God himself. I believe that in our lives, God must bring us to a place of complete blindness in order for us to truly see.

The other point I want to make is simply that there was a tremendous amount of humility that had to come from Saul’s conversion. He essentially had to rebuke all his prior actions. He had to come forth and admit he was wrong. This is something that most of us refuse to do because it is so damaging to our pride. It was one thing to change his attitude when Jesus blinded him, but after his vision was restored, the ‘turn’ or repentance for Paul’s heart actually stuck.

This is why people were so astonished. Isn’t this the man who was just persecuting the Christians? Think for a moment about how hard it would have been for him to flip sides and now jump in full force with the Christians he had so eagerly set out to destroy.

Aeneas & Dorcus

Through one crippled man being healed, many came to know Jesus. Through one dead woman being raised, many more came to know Jesus.

The miraculous signs and wonders manifest themselves sporadically to individuals so that a larger group of people could be spiritually and eternally healed. We must understand today that when we focus on one person’s healing, God can take that and use it to influence entire cities and nations. Sometimes we overlook those individuals because we spread ourselves so thin over a bigger group. Peter focused on Aeneas and on Dorcus, and God used it powerfully to draw many others to Him.

Simon

Just to further emphasize the point of going the extra mile to meet individual needs, we have a one-liner at the end of Acts 9 that sums it all up.

And Peter stayed many days in Joppa with a tanner named Simon.

Acts 9:43 NASB

There is no other background or context. Just one verse. On the surface, it seems like a meaningless detail. However, being a tanner in that time period was not socially acceptable. They handled dead animals, which meant that they were ceremonially unclean. In fact, it’s safe to say that the occupation was despised by Jewish society.

By staying with this man, Peter made a statement with regard to the OT rules and rituals. Ultimately, he didn’t care. Knowing Jesus and making Him known was Peter’s top priority. With this bold move, Peter once again shows us that our focus should be on witnessing to individual needs!

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