Luke then resumed a description of Saul’s persecution of the church in Acts 9. As he breathed out murderous threats against Christians, he requested letters from the high priest to take to Damascus to expand his persecution there of people belonging to the Way, to return bound to Jerusalem.
As Saul approached the city of Damascus, there was a brilliant light all around him that vastly outshone the noon day sun. As Saul fell to the ground in shock, a voice asked him why he was persecuting Him. Understanding that this was a supernatural event but not knowing who asked him this, Saul asked the identity of the speaker, to which He told Saul that He was Jesus, and that Saul was persecuting Him! He also told Saul to get up and enter Damascus to await further instructions from Jesus. The men who traveled with Saul stood frozen in place. Saul did get up off the ground, with his open eyes seeing nothing: Jesus had blinded him! The unseeing Saul had to be led by hand into the city. There, he spent 3 days, continuing in involuntary blindness, and participating in voluntary fasting.
Meanwhile, the Lord appeared to a disciple in Damascus named Ananias. He directed him through a vision to immediately go to Straight Street, to intentionally seek out Saul of Tarsus. In fact, Saul had also been given a vision of a man named Ananias coming to lay hands on him, for the receiving of his sight. Once Ananias realized who he was supposed to seek out, the ready-to-obey disciple now protested. He was afraid of the absolute power that Saul possessed to persecute and destroy Christians. But the Lord Jesus reiterated His command to Ananias, explaining that Ananias could be assured of safe passage because Saul was a chosen instrument of the Lord’s to carry His name far and wide. But just as with the prophets of the Old Testament, Saul would also suffer greatly in testifying of Christ.
And so, Ananias obeyed the Lord, entering the house of Judas, where Saul had been praying to the Lord for forgiveness and mercy. He laid his hands on Saul, confirming their brotherhood in the Lord, that it was the Jesus that Saul had seen outside of Damascus was the same Jesus who had sent Ananias to Saul for the regaining of his sight and manifest presence of the Spirit. Something like scales then fell from Saul’s eyes, and he miraculously regained his sight. In true faith, he rose and entered the waters of baptism. Having been freed from the shackles of sin, he now ate food, ending his fast.