Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.
I. NEGATIVE. He did not report himself.
1. The apostles were stiffly conservative, and
(1) might have suspected his conversion;
(2) would probably have questioned his Divine commission;
(3) would certainly have repudiated his apostleship.
2. Paul wanted nothing of them, and they could give him nothing.
3. He wished his life rather than his lips to speak. Let others see the reality of your conversion;they will then need no verbal proof of it.
II. PASSIVE. In Arabia Paul —
1. Lived a life of quiet meditation.
2. Equipped himself for his great work.
3. Calmly waited for indications from God. After conversion
(1) don't rush into office, but
(2) think, read, pray, weigh the responsibility of Christian work, fit yourself by Divine grace, wait till God says, "Go."
III. ACTIVE. "To Damascus" (see Acts 9:22).
1. The hour had struck, and the man was ready for it.
(1) Paul now knew not only what to say, but how to say it and defend it.
(2) The seed sown at conversion had produced a body of experience.
2. Once at it he grew strong in the work.
3. He was rewarded with striking success.
IV. SUFFERING (Acts 9:23, 24).
1. Persecution tests depth of conviction and reality of work.
2. Look for it, but don't fear it.
V. INDEPENDENCE. Living movements do not come of committees, they come of individuals.
(J. H. Newman, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.