Scripture: “Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias.


The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.”  And he said, “Here I am Lord.”  And the Lord said to him, “Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.”


But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem.  And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.”


But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel.”  Acts 9:10-15


Observation:  There are two characters being highlighted here: Saul is the famous one, but Ananias is more than a bit player…


Analysis:  The Damascus Road incident is a favorite story among Christians.  It shows the ability of the Holy Spirit to stop someone in their tracks and turn them into the Road of Righteousness and cause them to follow Jesus.  Side note: Notice that Jesus didn’t quite give Saul a choice?


Ok, that is the Saul side of things.  After this, Saul regains his sight, becomes a member of a local church, studies and is discipled for approximately 17 years, and then is released by the Elders of the Jerusalem church to herald the Kingdom and the Cross.  His name is changed to Paul and becomes a rock star and a best seller contributor for the next few thousand years.


My focus today is on Ananias.  Without Ananias, this story is a non-starter.  Ok, God could have selected someone else, but He didn’t.  He spoke to Ananias.  Why?


  1. Ananias was identified as a disciple.  What differentiates a disciple that God could call upon from the run of the mill believer that He would not?
  2. Out of all the converts in Jerusalem (over 3,000 by the accounts of Acts), Ananias was listening—even in his sleep.
  3. Not only listening, but responsive: “Here I am, Lord.”  Reminds me of Samuel the youngster who was to become a major prophet for Israel.
  4. Conversive, able to engage in a conversation with the Holy Spirit.  “Wait a minute, Lord; isn’t this the guy who is arresting, abusing, and even murdering your saints?” Reminds me of Jonah and Nineveh.
  5. And at the end, obedient. Thoughts: was Ananias enthusiastic? Hesitant? Faithful, or faith half-full?


I remember that God specifically endorses following/modeling after people in front of us and of saints that have gone before.  Check out the writer of Hebrews and chapter 13: “Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God.  Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.” (Heb 13:7)


How many of the people in the church imagine themselves as a Paul?  Peter?  John?  David (one of my favorites)?  Or fathers in the faith that have gone before: Spurgeon, Wilberforce, Wesley(s), Whitehead, or others?  How about Ananias?  Do I even think about Ananias, a veritable footnote in the New Testament?


If I want to be a faithful servant like Ananias, what do I need?  Devotion to God, devotion to the Word, devoted to the local church like he does make a difference in his church community, and finally (lest I downplay the power of the Holy Spirit and the authorization given by the Word of God), a devotion to pursue the Gifts and employ them.


Prayer:  Father, you find me at a low point, emotionally.  I can only stick as faithfully as I can to your Word and your directives.  Please help me to be courageous to proclaim your Word and the power of your Spirit.  Preaching the Gospel and signs and wonders are linked, descriptively.


I want to be faithful, not faith half-full.



Ricky Two Shoes