You’ve heard of Ananias, haven’t you? Your first thought is probably Ananias of “Ananias and Sapphira” fame. You remember: Ananias and his wife Sapphire lied and stole from God. Oh my! Their story is not easily forgotten.
But there is a different Ananias in scripture. Better, if you will. We can find his story in Acts 9.
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.” Acts 9:10 NASB
Ananias was a good man, a disciple of the Lord Jesus. He had a willing heart. Even before Ananias knew what Jesus was going to ask him, he made himself available. (Confession time: I like to know what I’m saying “Yes” to BEFORE I actually say yes! Amen?) We can discern that Ananais was a good and righteous man because of his willingness to serve.
Perhaps that’s why Jesus asks him to minister to Saul. You know Saul. He was the one murdering all the followers of The Way. He was the one trying to kill all the Christians. All all the men like Ananias, in fact. Jesus needed someone with a willing heart.
It seems Ananias tried to get out of this horrible assignment by reminding Jesus how bad Saul was (as if Jesus didn’t know already!).
“Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard from many people about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. And he has authority here from the chief priests to arrest all who call on Your name.” Acts 9:13-14 CSB
But Jesus had plans for Saul. Saul was to take the message of the gospel to the Gentiles. Jesus called Saul His “chosen instrument.”
Oh, y’all! Aren’t we all chosen instruments of Jesus Christ? Doesn’t God have a plan and a purpose for each of us? Yes! And Yes! Jesus loves us unconditionally, the same way He loved Saul, the same way He loved Ananias.
If the Lord asks us to minister to someone and we can’t even fathom being near that person, what should we do? Well now, we need to find a way to love the unlovable – the way Jesus loves them. And we need to be willing to minister to them.
Did you know there is blessing in obedience? Look at the rest of the story:
“And immediately there fell from his (Saul’s) eyes something like scales, and he regained his sight, and he got up and was baptized;” Acts 9:18 NASB
Ananias laid hands on Saul, so that Saul’s sight was restored. Then, he had the honor to baptize the Apostle Paul. What a blessing!
What if Ananias had said “No” to Jesus? What are we missing when we say no?
Grace be with you,