“Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, ‘Ananias.’ And he said, ‘Here I am, Lord.’”
A disciple named Ananias is a somewhat obscure character in the narrative of Acts. We do not know how he first heard about Christ, what his occupation was, or his role in the local church. All we know is, when he was called to service, he rose to the occasion, and became an influential player in the life and ministry of Paul, the Apostle.
We read that Ananias had a vision. A vision is much like a dream, but happens while a person is awake, instead of when they are sleeping. There are many cases in Scripture of God speaking to His people through visions.
We are not told what Ananias was doing when God interrupted and commissioned him. We only know he obeyed. Notice, his obedience was not without trepidation. In fact, we might even say, he was a little reluctant to obey; and it is not difficult to understand why. Saul of Tarsus was the greatest human threat the early church had ever faced. He had authority to arrest and imprison Christians; and like a wild animal, was threatening them with death.
We read in Acts 8 that he was the driving force behind the death of Stephen. God was calling Ananias right into Saul’s line of fire. It does not surprise me that he would say,“Lord, I have heard from many about this man, . . .” Acts 9:13
I know it is my desire to hear from the Lord. I want my life to count for the kingdom, and to have a positive impact upon the lives of others. I also understand, that sometimes, the Lord asks us to do hard things. Sometimes, the call of God will take me outside my comfort zone and ask me to do what will make me very uncomfortable, and may even put me at some level of risk.
I think it is important to follow the example of Ananias, whose willingness to obey the Lord resulted in helping in the growth of one of Christianity’s greatest heroes. Let’s all live by the motto of, “Here I am Lord.”
Questions for Acts 9
- Why was Saul headed to Damascus?
- Saul’s response to the Lord was interesting considering his opposition to Christians. How do you respond when the Lord is calling you to repent?
- How many days was Saul blind?
- The Lord spoke to Ananias, what did God ask him to do?
- In verse 13, this is the first time in scripture that the church is referred to as “saints”. Did you know you were a saint?
- In verse 17, Saul is filled with the Holy Spirit and in verse 18, he is healed then baptized. Verse 20, he starts preaching. Do not think you have to wait to be used by the Lord. What is He tugging on your heart to do?
- Who took Saul in when he returned to Jerusalem?
- What was so special about Tabitha?