Acts 9:1 – 9
Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked
“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the gorund, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.
After the stoning of Stephen, the Christians left Jerusalem for other cities in the region. They continued to consider themselves Jews, and went to the synagogues to teach about Jesus. Saul requested and was granted permission fromt he high priest to seek out Christians, arrest them and bring them back to Jerusalem for trial in the Sanhedrin. As with Jesus’ original appearances in the Jewish courts, the Romans considered these internal affairs they they stayed out of unless the parties violated Roman law. The Roman governors were content to let the Jews deal with their rebels, for this reduced the likelihood that riots would develop that the Roman leaders who then have to suppress.
As Saul approached Damascus, Jesus appeared to him, as we see in this fresco, leaning out from the clouds, with cheribs on either side. Saul’s horse is down, and one of his retinue attempts to control it by pullin on its reins. Two men with armor and swords attend to Saul, while another croaches down and shields his face. Saul sees the light coming from Jesus and hear his plea. The other men do not look up, but according to the passage, hear a sound. As with the Jews who did not see, and did want to hear, what Stephen saw and said, they turn away, ignorant of what is happening.
They do stay with Saul, assisting him into Damascus, where Jesus has told him to wait for instructions. During the next three days, Saul is blind and dose not eat or drink. This parallels Jesus three days between his crucifixion and resurrection.