A Man Named Ananias: Acts 9:10-19
“10) Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and the Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” 11) And the Lord said to him, “Get up and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying, 12) 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.” 13) But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he did to Your saints at Jerusalem; 14) and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.” 15) But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; 16) for I will show him how much he must suffer for my names sake.” 17) So Ananias departed and entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18) And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he regained his sight, and he got up and was baptized; and he took food and was strengthened. 19) Now for several days he was with the disciples who were at Damascus,” Acts 9:10-19
This text contains several valuable nuggets for those seeking to follow Jesus. First, God can and does speak to people. He has ways of making His specific will known to His followers.
In the case of Ananias, the Lord used a vision. In verse 10, He spoke to Ananias in a vision. Then in verse 12, He spoke to Saul in a vision. Though Colossians 2:18 warns about taking a stand exclusively on visions, they were part of Gods communication network with His people. Joel 2:28-29 prophesied about this phenomenon.
In the Old Testament, visions were reserved for the prophets. In the New Testament, God can speak to any child of God through a vision. They seem to be most common for those living under the shadow of intense persecution. Visions must be measured by truth, in keeping with the character and nature of God and in line with the Great Commission. Jesus will not lead His people into confusion or in opposition to what His Spirit is doing in the broader context of the church He is building.
Second, when the Lord speaks through a vision it is often very specific. It included the street address, the house of Judas, the man named Saul, the fact that he was praying and that he would be expecting a man named Ananias. (Vs 11-12) These details were intended only for Ananias because God was sending him on a special mission.
Third, God can and does tap some individuals for special assignments. Ananias wrestled with the Lord because his mission was contrary to the common sense cautions against Saul. He was the source of suffering and persecution for Gods people. Saul was to be avoided at all costs. Word about his arrival in Damascus had spread quickly. But God had a special mission for Ananias. Ananias had every reason to seek clarification and confirmation from the Lord. He was not arguing with God.
Finally, Ananias obeyed God and became part of a story that changed the course of human history. He went straight to the house of a man named Judas and ministered to Saul. (Vs 17) He shared a word of knowledge about the Lord Jesus appearing to Saul on the road. (Vs 17) Ananias was walking in the Spirit and using spiritual gifts. He laid hands on Saul for healing (Vs 12), and to be filled with the Holy Spirit. (Vs 17) He also immediately baptized Saul (Vs 18), and introduced him to the broader body of Christ.
Unfortunately, this story is all we know about Ananias. He was an ordinary believer sent by God on a specific mission. What God accomplished through him was extraordinary. Ananias had no clue what God was about to set in motion through his small step of obedience.
What about you? Are you available to be used by God? Every believer is called to walk in the Spirit and have an impact for the glory of God. Never underestimate what God might set in motion through you for His Glory! There is an old chorus that was popular in the 1970’s that said; “It only takes a spark to get a fire going.” Be a spark for Jesus! How?
Draw near to God, walk in the Spirit and obey His leading in your life. Purpose to live a consecrated life of faith and obedience… and buckle your seat belt. God will invite you to join Him on an amazing ride through this life.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global
A Man Named Ananias: Acts 9:10-19