1. We get some background information on Paul. Paul was born in Tarsus but grew up in Jerusalem. He studied at the feet of Gamaliel. Gamaliel was a famous Hillelite Pharisee. According to some traditions, he was the grandson of Hillel. We met Gamaliel back in Acts 5.
By stereotype, Hillelite Pharisees were more fatalistic than the other school of Shammai. The Shammaites arguably had a more revolutionary character, "let's help God get stuff done" philosophy. The Hillelites were more "God will do it in his own time," more Quakerish--you can see this in Acts 5. In this respect, Paul sounds a lot more like a Shammaite Pharisee than a Hillelite. Much we just don't know...
2. When Paul says he persecuted followers of the Way to their death, we think of Stephen. We have no record of him causing any other early Christian's death. He seems to have been a "go-fer" for the Sanhedrin.
3. Paul gives three accounts of his conversion in Acts. We had one in Acts 9 by Luke. This one is on Paul's lips. There's another by Paul in Acts 26. The NIV has smoothed out one minor tension between the first two accounts. In Acts 9 the people with Paul hear the voice but do not see anyone (9:7). In this account, they see the light but do not hear the voice (22:9). The NIV translation removes the question.
4. I wish Jesus would tap me/us on the shoulder this obviously when I was headed in the wrong direction! Paul is blinded. He is later healed, but we can wonder whether he continued to struggle with his eyes to some extent for the rest of his life. Galatians 4:15 suggests that Paul's initial time in Galatia had something to do with his eyes...
(It is hard to know how this might fit with Acts' account. For a long time, I went for a north Galatia audience for Galatians rather than the south Galatian churches of Acts because I didn't see how Paul's first stay in south Galatia could have been related to eye trouble. I finally conceded that it just makes more sense that it would be the churches Acts mentions rather than churches for which we have no record.)
... I personally think this is the only lead we have to go on as far as what Paul's thorn in the flesh might have been (2 Cor. 12:7-9).
5. You have to look up to Ananias. Good grief, talk about obedience to God! Your head is saying, "Danger, danger, Will Robinstein." But you go ahead and do what God tells you anyway.
6. Calling Jesus "the Righteous One" is interesting and we find it elsewhere in Acts. Richard Hays thinks Paul reads Habakkuk to say, "My Righeous One will live by faithfulness." He thinks most of the passages we take as "faith in Christ" are actually about the "faithfulness of Christ."
7. 22:16 makes a connection between baptism and washing sins away. Acts 15:9 made the same connection with the Spirit. They go together in Acts . You are baptized; you receive the Spirit.
8. Notice again how Acts accentuates the law-keeping of Paul and Ananias, fitting the context in Jerusalem. Ananias is a devout observer of the Law (22:12). Paul was praying in the temple when God tells him to leave Jerusalem and that he is sending him to the Gentiles. In Galatians we find out that Paul went to Jerusalem 3 years after his conversion.
It's when Paul mentions the Gentiles that the mob goes wild again...