Paul's Blindness Lesson
The conversion of the Pharisee Saul (see also The Origin Of The Essenes, Sadducees And Pharisees), later known as the apostle Paul, on the road to Damascus:
"9:1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord [see Was Paul Among Them?], went unto the high priest, 9:2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. 9:3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:
9:4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
9:5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord?
And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest [or persecuted; again, see Was Paul Among Them?]: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
9:6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
9:7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.
9:8 And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. 9:9 And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.
9:10 And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias [see Ananias The Disciple]; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias.
And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.
9:11 And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,
9:12 And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.
9:13 Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: 9:14 And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.
9:15 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: 9:16 For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.
9:17 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. 9:18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized." (Acts 9:1-18 KJV)
"Seeing The Light"
Paul's God-given blindness was a stark object lesson of how spiritually blind he was before his conversion. Paul was a Pharisee who "knew" the Word of God far better than most, but who did not see the Word of God until the Holy Spirit enlightened his knowledge. In effect, Paul had been reading in the darkness.
Later, when Paul was given to preach the Word of God on his missionary journeys (see the Fact Finder question below), he used his own "blinded by the light" experience with at least one other (perhaps many others), who, like Paul before his conversion, needed his eyes opened. It was given, by Paul (who knew very well what it was like), to a sorcerer named Elymas.
"13:1 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch [see Antioch Of Syria] certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 13:2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. 13:3 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.
13:4 So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost [see also Ghost and Spirit: What's The Difference?], departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus. 13:5 And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to their minister.
13:6 And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Barjesus: 13:7 Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God.
13:8 But Elymas the sorcerer, for so is his name by interpretation, withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith. 13:9 Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him, 13:10 And said, O full of all subtlety and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?
13:11 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand. 13:12 Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord." (Acts 13:1-12 KJV)
Fact Finder: Where did Paul travel in his service to the LORD?
See Paul's First Missionary Journey, Paul's Second Missionary Journey and Paul's Third Missionary Journey; also Paul's Journey To Rome
Copyright © Wayne Blank