S. Lewis Johnson Message of the Week
Paul, Ananias and Arabia
Dr. S. Lewis Johnson discusses the ministry of the Antioch Christians to Paul after his conversion and the time he spent with the community.
Scripture Reference: Acts 9:10-19
Click here to listen: Paul, Ananias and Arabia
Tonight we are looking at the subject of “Paul, Ananias, and Arabia,” the next step in the unfolding of the life of the Apostle Paul. And so will you take your New Testaments and turn to Acts chapter 9, verse 10, and let me read a few verses here. And then we will look at a passage in Galatians chapter 1 also for Scripture reading. Acts chapter 9, verse 10 through verse 19.
“And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight. Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake. And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus.”
Now, you’ll notice that in the Lukan account, after saying, “And when he had received meat, he was strengthened,” the next sentence is “Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus. And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.” Now, let’s turn to Galatians chapter 1, and read verse 15 through verse 17. The apostle is going over, now, in the Epistle to the Galatians, some of the experiences that he had when he was converted. And he is saying that the message that he is proclaiming is a message that he has received by divine revelation. So after saying that he has profited in the Jews’ religion above many of his equals in his own nation, in verse 15 he writes, “But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen;” or the Gentiles, “immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.” Now, notice he says that immediately he went into Arabia, but he returned to Damascus.
…. you can read the full transcript here.