Through his writings in the Book of Acts, Luke teaches us more about loving our enemies; how to listen to the Lord and act in the best interest of those who mistreat us. In our passage today, Ananias is sent to be a blessing to a great enemy of Christ’s followers: Saul from Tarsus. Ananias expresses some concerns, but obeys the Lord, anyway. His attitude, desire, and motive is to live as a new creation in Christ. This is an opportunity for Ananias to know God’s grace is sufficient.
10 There was a disciple in Damascus by the name of Ananias. The Master spoke to him in a vision: “Ananias.”
“Yes, Master?” he answered.
11-12 “Get up and go over to Straight Avenue. Ask at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus. His name is Saul. He’s there praying. He has just had a dream in which he saw a man named Ananias enter the house and lay hands on him so he could see again.”
13-14 Ananias protested, “Master, you can’t be serious. Everybody’s talking about this man and the terrible things he’s been doing, his reign of terror against your people in Jerusalem! And now he’s shown up here with papers from the Chief Priest that give him license to do the same to us.”
15-16 But the Master said, “Don’t argue. Go! I have picked him as my personal representative to non-Jews and kings and Jews. And now I’m about to show him what he’s in for—the hard suffering that goes with this job.”
Ananias listens to the voice of God and obediently acts in love toward his enemy, Saul. It is all a part of God’s redemptive plan to make this enemy of Christ turn from wickedness and work powerfully for the exaltation of Christ and his Kingdom. The Holy Spirit opens Saul’s eyes to make a new creature out of him; the Apostle Paul. This one-time enemy experiences a transformation in attitude, desire, and motive; he embraces oneness in Christ. In the power of the Spirit, this enemy becomes a passionate follower of Christ who goes on to write much of the New Testament. Was the obedient action of Ananias important? Indeed! Can the filling of the Spirit change an empty heart? You betcha!
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the work of your Spirit to connect us with opportunities that bring change. We need a great deal of change in our world, Lord, and it begins with one heart at a time. Please fill us with the Spirit and use your children for your glory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.