Were you to use Acts 1:8 as an outline for the entire book of Acts you would notice that the first 8 chapters were primarily about being witnesses to Jerusalem, and centered on Peter and those in Jerusalem and Judea who were primarily of Jewish origin. Our first witness is often to those in immediate proximity. Our family, our friends and even our neighbours. But the great commission of Jesus Christ didn’t end at our driveway. 18 Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV)
Luke’s narrative now moves on as Acts 1:8 suggests to Samaria and then to the world describing how those early disciples began to fulfill Christ’s great commission and became His witnesses in an ever expanding way. As Luke continues the focus shifts from primarily Peter and the Apostles of Jerusalem to Saul who becomes Paul and the major role he played as Christ’s witness to the world.
If many of chapter 8 studies focused on manipulation and witchcraft the one word for today’s lesson could easily be intimidation.
1. What is intimidation?
2. When have you been intimidated by someone you know?
3. Why was it intimidating being in their presence?
Let’s read the passage for today: Acts 9:1-4
1. What was Saul up to in Jerusalem? (Acts 9:1) Est. 3:8-13
2. Was Saul all talk or did his actions speak louder than his words? Acts 8:1-3
3. How did the people react to Saul? (Acts 9:1-2) Acts 8:4
4. How should we react to intimidation?
5. Where is Damascus? (Acts 9:3) What is it called today? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damascus
6. Why was Saul going to Damascus? (Acts 9:2-3)
7. What happened on the way?(Acts 9:3) Acts 9:17, Acts 22:6, 12-13
8. Who did he meet? (Acts 9:3) 1 Cor 15:8; 1 Tim 6:16; Rev. 21:3, 22:5
9. Was Saul intimated by the visit? (Acts 9:4)
10. Had Saul actually persecuted Jesus? (Acts 9:4-5) Where was Jesus?