THE LESSON BACKGROUND. After Stephen was stoned to death (see Acts 7:54-59), heavy persecution took place against the young church. Many believers who were forced to leave Jerusalem “went everywhere preaching the word” (see Acts 8:4). However, Saul of Tarsus, a young Pharisee was determined to exterminate this new religious sect, wherever it spread (see Acts 8:3; 26:9-11). He even obtained permission from the high priest to go to Damascus to apprehend Christians (see Acts 9:1-2), or those who followed “that way” (see Acts 19:9, 23; 22:4; 24:22). On his way to Damascus, Saul was confronted by the LORD Jesus in a most spectacular way (see Acts 9:3-7). He was totally blinded during the experience and had to be led to Damascus, where he waited three days for additional instructions (see Acts 9:8-9). While Saul waited, the LORD was preparing another man, Ananias to further instruct him. This is where our lesson begins.
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