The Ministry of Saul

Preaching at podium

In my previous blog post, we looked at the amazing change that took place in Saul’s life. He went from being a persecutor of the early church to a follower of Jesus Christ. In this blog post, I would like to look at another portion of the ninth chapter in the Book of Acts regarding the preaching Saul did.

Saul Starts Ministering

Starting with Acts 9:20-21 (NKJV) it tells us, “Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God. Then all who heard were amazed, and said, “Is this not he who destroyed those who called on this name in Jerusalem, and has come here for that purpose, so that he might bring them bound to the chief priests?””. Saul starts preaching about Jesus in the synagogues, this causes the people to be amazed. We must keep in mind these people are used to Saul being a driving force for the persecution of the followers of Jesus. Now Saul is a follower of Jesus. Acts 9:22 (AMP) continues, “But Saul increased in strength more and more, and continued to perplex the Jews who lived in Damascus by examining theological evidence and proving [with Scripture] that this Jesus is the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed).”. Saul continued to grow in his ability to preach. This caused the Jews to be perplexed because his preaching had strong theological evidence and was based upon scriptures. I think it would be safe to assume he referred to certain Old Testament scriptures that pointed to Jesus Christ. Not only did he use theology and scriptures, but he used his testimony in action. Sometimes ministering to someone is not about how knowledgeable you are in theology and how well you have scriptures memorized, but your evident testimony. Often it is out testimonies that will lead others to Jesus Christ, along with Biblical truth.  

Saul is Now a Target

Acts 9:23-24 (AMP) tells us, “After considerable time had passed [about three years or so], the Jews plotted together to kill him, but their plot became known to Saul. They were also watching the city’s gates day and night so they could kill him”. The Jews begin to plot to kill Saul, this is not simply a punishment from God, but something that can happen when one is spreading the Gospel. Acts 9:25-26 (KJV) goes on to say, “Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket. And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him and believed not that he was a disciple.”. Saul gets to Jerusalem and the group of disciples do not believe his claim to be a follower of Christ, simply because they originally know Saul as a persecutor of the church. Sometimes we might even be surprised when someone we know of comes to Christ. Maybe someone that bullied you in high school became a minister and their life is different because of Jesus Christ. The same Jesus that changed you and me, is the same one that can change the other people around us regardless of their background.

Saul is Brought to the Apostles

Acts 9:27-29 (NKJV) continues, “But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. And he declared to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. So, he was with them at Jerusalem, coming in and going out.  And he spoke boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus and disputed against the Hellenists, but they attempted to kill him.”. Barnabas eventually convinces the other disciples about Saul’s conversion. As Saul is with the disciples of Jerusalem he continues to preach with boldness. Saul can preach with boldness because number one he received the infilling of the Holy Spirit at his conversion, and he is becoming obedient to the Holy Spirit. If you are like me, you should be able to distinguish a minister who flows in the Holy Spirit and one who does not flow in the Holy Spirit. The Jews are still attempting to kill Saul because of him spreading the message of Jesus. I find it awesome to know that Saul continues preaching despite the threat of persecution. I think this is more amazing given the fact that he was a leader of the persecution before he came to Christ. This just shows us an example of true conversion.

Saul Goes to Caesarea and Tarsus

Acts 9:30 (NKJV) goes on to tell us, “When the brethren found out, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him out to Tarsus.”. Saul then goes to Caesarea and Tarsus, which I have a map below to show you for a visual. Acts 9:31 (AMP) continues, “So the church throughout Judea and Galilee and Samaria enjoyed peace [without persecution], being built up [in wisdom, virtue, and faith]; and walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort and encouragement of the Holy Spirit, it continued to grow [in numbers].”. As Saul continued with his ministry many people were added to the church. This happened simply because he was a minister for Jesus Christ who yielded to the Holy Spirit. This also resulted in the people he ministered to being edified through his teaching and testimony.

Map of Caesarea and Tarsus

Final Thoughts

After looking at these few verses in Acts chapter nine I find it amazing to see the transformation that took place in Saul’s life. This is also a reminder that God can call on anyone to be a minister for Him. It doesn’t matter what the person’s background was before their encounter with Jesus Christ. Romans 2:11 (GNV) reminds us, “For there is no respect of persons with God.”. When Saul had his encounter with Christ, when the light shined down from Heaven, he could have become angry with God and been blind the rest of his life, but he chose to surrender to Jesus Christ.

This Weeks Challenge

What about you? What took place in your life when you fully surrendered to Jesus Christ? I would like to encourage you to find one person this week to share your testimony with. Please share your testimony with anyone whether they are a believer or unbeliever. Luke 8:39 (CSB) tells us, “Go back to your home, and tell all that God has done for you.” And off he went, proclaiming throughout the town how much Jesus had done for him.”. So, I challenge you this week to share your testimony with someone, and if God leads you to someone who needs Jesus in their life, minister to them, ask God to lead you with that person. Ministering to a person might be a one-time event, or it might take several times to work with that individual. We must be patient when we do personal ministry on a one on one basis. Also please feel free to share your testimony in the comment section below.