A Man Named Ananias…What Can We Learn From Him?

Scripture Reference;

1And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,

2And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.

3And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:

4And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

5And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

6And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.

7And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.

8And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.

9And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.

10And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.

11And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,

12And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.

13Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem:

14And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.

15But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:

16For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.

17And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.

18And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.

19And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus.

20And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. Acts 9:1-20 KJV


 

 


2But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.3To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.  John 10:2-3 KJV

27My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:28And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.29My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.30I and my Father are one. John 10:27-30 KJV


If anyone is asked who they might read about in the ninth chapter of the book of Acts they probably would say Saul (also known as Paul), but I want to look at another man. His name was Ananias. There is a lot that I learn from “his story”.

First of all,the Lord spoke to Ananias: And the Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias!”When I read that the Lord spoke to Ananias I found myself focusing on the fact that it was the Lord that initiated that conversation, and also that He called Ananias by name. I also liked Ananias’s reply, “Behold, I am here Lord”.  I was reminded that although we may initiate conversations with the Lord when we go to Him in prayer, the Lord also has something to say, something to lay on our hearts. When the Lord calls out to us (draws us) we, too should reply “Behold, I am here Lord. Then we should pause to listen.

When I looked at verses 13-14  I noticed that Ananias let the Lord know that he was afraid to go and he explained why. So often the Lord desires us to do things  that make us uncomfortable, and that sometimes are down right scary. Obedience isn’t always easy. It is okay to tell the Lord about our fears. He wants to hear about them, and he knows about them anyway. He tells us in the Bible to cast our fears on Him. Telling is part of casting. In the Psalms David sometimes called it “pouring out my complaint”.  There is something so healing about confessing …confessing our sins, our hurts and our fears. When we do this He  gives us the courage to obey him. We may fear and tremble, but the Lord “WILL” work in us both  ” to be willing” and “to be able” to do his good pleasure (to obey Him). See Philippians 2:12-13.

I also noticed that when Ananias was speaking he mentioned his knowledge of the evil that Saul had done to the saints, but the Lord assured him that He had chosen Paul (Saul). This both comforted and convicted me. It comforted me because I, myself have done evil to the saints. I haven’t had anyone thrown into prison, but I have many times criticized people (especially other Christians) to my family and closest friends. It’s bad enough to think bad thoughts, to be quick to judge, to carry that chip on my shoulder, but when I “share those thoughts” I am only piling  sin upon sin. When I realize what I have done (usually as soon as the words are spoken) I feel very ashamed, because it is not fair and they are precious in the Lord’s sight. Then I confess what I have done, and pray for help not to do that anymore. It is humbling for me to admit that I am capable of doing that, but it is also comforting to remember that Paul himself wrote  in Romans 7 and 8, as well as in other passages that Christians still sin, but that doesn’t make us any less saved or chosen. He didn’t continue to persecute the saints but he did have criticisms from time to time….and many of his criticisms were expressed in his instructions to the churches (These criticisms were not sins), but I suspect that one of his sins that he  committed once in awhile might very well have been to criticize too harshly.  There is another good thing that comes when I acknowledge my own sin. It helps me to be more accepting of others and more eager to build up instead of tearing down. We should, like Ananias, acknowledge that they are our “brothers” and “sisters”; that should mean something to us.

Now I want to look again at Acts 9:17-18:


17 So Ananias left and entered the house. Then he placed his hands on him and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road you were traveling, has sent me so you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” (P)

18 At once something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he got up and was baptized. 19 And after taking some food, he regained his strength. (Q)

20 Immediately he began proclaiming Jesus in the synagogues: “He is the Son of God.”

After the Lord spoke with him, Ananias did as he was told, and a wonderful thing happened. Saul’s sight was restored, he was filled with the Holy Spirit, and Baptized…and that’s not all! Saul (Paul) started many churches and preached the gospel in many places. He is the author of many of the books in the New Testament. There is a lot more written in the Bible about Paul than Ananias, and it is the same with us today. Some Christians are known by multitudes while others are remembered by only a few, but we have no idea what God has planned for the person to whom we show grace and mercy, or how far reaching a kindness can be. Let us not grow weary in well doing!

Do you know Jesus as your personal Savior and Lord?  Please click on “Very Important Words” on the left margin of this page and make sure.

Do you have a Bible? If you don’t have one, you need not worry. Just go to http://www.biblegateway.com. They have many versions and translations of the Bible that you can read. Some of the best things in life are free!

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5 Comments

  1. July 29, 2010 at 1:42 am

    What a beautiful study, Theresa! 🙂 The encouragement you give to us, the ones who aren’t known to but a few, is so needed. God bless you as you continue to lift us up and lift up the name of Jesus! deb

  2. July 29, 2010 at 2:08 am

    Thank you Debbie. I am so glad it encouraged you. I had decided to read a passage of scripture that was supposed to be for Monday in a Sunday school quarterly. It was supposed to be about Paul, but I was already under conviction about my tendency to be critical and I ended up writing this post. Pray for me that the Lord will deliver me from the habit of carrying a chip on my shoulder.

    Thank you for being such a kind and comforting person.

    Theresa

  3. bendedspoon said,

    July 29, 2010 at 4:40 am

    I really haven’t yet study the whole Bible or immerse in all Its truth. Thank you for this bits and for the reminder to cast our fears on Him. It is sure scary at times — when I can’t let go.

  4. July 29, 2010 at 6:02 am

    There are still some parts of the Bible that I haven’t studied either. I still get scared, too, especially at night…it’s been a hard year. Sometimes I just say “Jesus help me; I’m scared.” before I fall asleep. Then the next thing I know it’s a new day and all is much better. Know that you are not alone. The Lord loves you. We can pray for each other.

  5. bendedspoon said,

    July 29, 2010 at 6:09 am

    Thank you. Thank you.


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