What does Acts 9:13 mean?
ESV: But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem.
NIV: Lord,' Ananias answered, 'I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem.
NASB: But Ananias answered, 'Lord, I have heard from many people about this man, how much harm he did to Your saints in Jerusalem;
CSB: "Lord," Ananias answered, "I have heard from many people about this man, how much harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem.
NLT: But Lord,' exclaimed Ananias, 'I’ve heard many people talk about the terrible things this man has done to the believers in Jerusalem!
KJV: Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem:
Verse Commentary:
After the murder of Stephen (Acts 7), a young, Pharisee-trained, Greek-speaking Jewish man named Saul asked the Sanhedrin, the Jewish ruling council, for authority to track down Jesus-followers. At this point, the vast majority were Jews or proselytes: full converts to Judaism. One of the concessions the Roman government gave to the Jews—considered strange people with their invisible God—was religious authority over their own people. They were not supposed to execute anyone (John 18:31), but they could arrest and punish them.

As Saul's persecution in Jerusalem increased (Acts 8:1–3), the Jesus-followers fled, taking the news about Jesus into Judea and Samaria (Acts 8:4–40). Saul requested permission to follow them wherever they went, which is why he traveled 133 miles north to Damascus. Before Saul reached the city, Jesus confronted him with his violence against His church. Jesus has now asked Ananias to meet with Saul and finish his conversion from prosecutor to apostle (Acts 9:3–12).

Ananias is unconvinced. He euphemistically describes Saul as "binding" the Jesus-followers in Jerusalem (Acts 9:14). Ananias would have heard from the refugees and known it was much worse. By his own admission, Saul beat them, voted for their execution, chased them in a raging fury, and tried to make them blaspheme (Acts 22:19; 26:10–11).

As much as Ananias trusts Jesus, he's not sure what can be done against such reckless hate. At this point in the history of the church, Saul of Tarsus is the last person Ananias—or any other Christian—would want to meet.
Verse Context:
Acts 9:10–19 explains how the greatest earthly enemy of the early church experienced a change of heart. Saul is a Pharisee-trained, Greek-speaking Jew and zealous persecutor of Christians (Acts 8:1–3). He asked for permission to hunt Jesus-followers in Damascus, but found Jesus, instead (Acts 9:1–9). Blinded by Jesus' glory, he has been waiting in Damascus for Ananias, a Jesus-follower. Ananias arrives and participates as as Jesus heals Saul from both physical and spiritual blindness. Saul is baptized and takes physical nourishment. Saul stays in Damascus for some time and immediately takes his extensive training in Jewish Scripture to argue that Jesus is indeed the Messiah. The Sanhedrin's hitman is now a target of his former allies.
Chapter Summary:
Acts 9 sets the stage for the spread of the gospel to the Gentiles. Saul continues the persecution of the church by traveling to Damascus to arrest Jesus-followers. Before he reaches the city, Jesus confronts him. Saul realizes Jesus is the Messiah and immediately starts spreading the news, first in Damascus and later in Jerusalem. Meanwhile, Peter travels to modern-day Tel Aviv to heal a paralyzed man and bring a dead woman back to life. The miracles aren't unusual, but the story leaves him in Joppa, poised to take the next step in Jesus' mandate to be His witness (Acts 1:8).
Chapter Context:
The murder of the Jesus-follower Stephen has ignited a fierce persecution against the church, led by a young Pharisee-trained man named Saul (Acts 7:54—8:3; 9:1–2). When he realizes Jesus truly is the Messiah, that fervor fuels his own evangelism (Acts 9:3–30). Meanwhile, Peter travels to the coast of Judea. Soon, he will teach a prominent Gentile household about Jesus and discover that Gentiles can be saved (Acts 10). The stage will be set for Saul to spread the saving news of Jesus to ''the end of the earth'' (Acts 1:8) under the Greek version of his name: Paul.
Book Summary:
The summary of the book of Acts is provided in Jesus' words in Acts 1:8: ''But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.'' In Acts 2:1–13, the Christ-followers receive the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:14—7:60 describes the rapid growth of the church in Jerusalem. Chapters 8—12 find Jewish persecution inadvertently spreading the gospel throughout Judea and Samaria. And in chapters 13—28, Paul and his companions spread the good news throughout the Roman Empire.
Accessed 4/17/2024 10:17:30 PM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.