Acts

Acts 9:23-30 A Turning Point For The Church.

It was not surprising that the apostate Jews wanted to carry on Saul’s work of persecution by murdering him. It was also probably not surprising that Saul would have learned of this plot, after all he was the former ring leader of this effort. However, Saul was not alone, he had the help of his fellow disciples who deceived the leaders of the apostate church by hiding Saul and sending him on his way in peace (vv. 23-25). One would have thought that he would go as far away from Jerusalem as possible, but instead he travels there, but he attempts to meet with the disciples in secret, and at this point they had not learned about Saul’s conversion (v. 26). This is where Barnabas stepped in. Barnabas was a man of courage and faith. He saw the Lord at work in this situation, but instead of trying to argue with the common disciples, he took Saul to the apostles for their approval and endorsement.

Saul declared to the apostles “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”(v. 27). So like the apostles, Saul had seen the risen Lord, made possible only because of the resurrection. He also had the Lord speak to him, and as a consequence of this encounter, Saul was not only converted but he was also called to preach, which is exactly what he did. The apostles would go on to learn more about him as he would spend some time among them (v. 28). However, Saul continued to preach and debate in public, in this case with the Hellenists, the Greek speaking Jews. However, these also tried to kill him (v. 29). Again the brethren rescued him and “brought him down to Caesarea and sent him out to Tarsus” (v. 30). Perhaps they thought he would get a better reception in his hometown.

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