What does Acts 9:28 mean?Saul is a Greek-speaking Jewish man who was trained to be a Pharisee but, after violently persecuting the church, accepted that Jesus of Nazareth is the Jewish Messiah and Savior. After his conversion in Damascus, and about three years in Arabia and Damascus (Galatians 1:17–18), he travels 133 miles south to Jerusalem to meet the leaders of the church he had tried to destroy. At first, they are wary, but Barnabas takes the chance, gets to know Saul, and introduces him to the apostles (Acts 9:1–27).
Now, Saul continues what he started in Damascus: showing Jews how the Messiah they are waiting for has already come in the person of a carpenter from Nazareth who was crucified and rose again.
Speaking the Word of the Lord boldly was always the apostles' goal (Acts 4:29). Saul seems fearless, but he makes the conscious effort to be strong and faithful and asks others to pray for him (Ephesians 6:19).
Saul is a Jew, both ethnically and by religion. However, he's from Tarsus, the capital of the Roman province of Cilicia, on the southeastern shore of modern-day Asia Minor. He was born a Roman citizen and speaks Greek and understands Greek philosophy and literature. He was also educated in Jerusalem and studied under the noted Pharisee Gamaliel (Acts 17:22–28; 22:3, 27–28). He is teaching at the synagogues of other Hellenist Jews (Acts 9:29)—possibly the very synagogues where Stephen taught, and the very people responsible for Stephen's death (Acts 6:8–15; 7:54–60).
Saul will soon face the same dilemma Stephen did: continue preaching or escape with his life. The apostles make the choice for him and send him back home to Tarsus (Acts 9:29–30).