Now Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, and asked for letters from him to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, but get up and enter the city, and it will be told you what you must do.” The men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; and leading him by the hand, they brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank.
Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and the Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” And the Lord said to him, “Get up and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him, so that he might regain his sight.” But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he did to Your saints at Jerusalem; and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.” But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name’s sake.” So Ananias departed and entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he regained his sight, and he got up and was baptized; and he took food and was strengthened.
There are times when I look at the conversion of Saul and can’t really see it going down any other way. I mean God has a lot of options to both reveal himself to Saul and get his attention but it was pretty clear based on his past actions that Saul was the kind of single-minded individual that required both a strong approach and he had to see for himself or he wouldn’t believe. It is this sight though that will cost him both in the immediate sense and perhaps down the road. Saul’s encounter affected his ability to see physically and there is another verse reference that talks about the compassion of the church toward Saul and that they would have plucked out their own eyes and given them to him so one has to wonder if Saul’s eyes suffered the rest of his life because of his encounter with Christ.
That said it appears Paul’s spiritual eyes were opened. Sure he has to sulk in Damascus for a bit but that was necessary to Get Saul to have a fuller realization of what just happened to him. Just because the proof given to someone about Christ I overwhelming and they change their mind does not mean they don’t need time to process the change in their minds. Saul has to do this and it becomes a time where his viewpoint completely shifts.
Ananias becomes another great example of a common believer doing a great thing because of his willingness to be obedient. The apostles are still in Jerusalem and so it becomes necessary in Damascus for God to use someone else and Ananias despite his objections goes and prays for Saul. Saul is both healed and filled with the Holy Spirit. The miracle of salvation comes to his life and the rest is history.
Next: Saul Begins to Preach Christ