Today's Lectionary Text
Acts 9:10-19aIn Damascus there was a certain disciple named Ananias. The Lord spoke to him in a vision, “Ananias!” He answered, “Yes, Lord.”
The Lord instructed him, “Go to Judas’ house on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul. He is praying. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias enter and put his hands on him to restore his sight.”
Ananias countered, “Lord, I have heard many reports about this man. People say he has done horrible things to your holy people in Jerusalem. He’s here with authority from the chief priests to arrest everyone who calls on your name.”
The Lord replied, “Go! This man is the agent I have chosen to carry my name before Gentiles, kings, and Israelites. I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.”
Ananias went to the house. He placed his hands on Saul and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord sent me—Jesus, who appeared to you on the way as you were coming here. He sent me so that you could see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Instantly, flakes fell from Saul’s eyes and he could see again. He got up and was baptized. After eating, he regained his strength.
I marvel at the bravery of Ananias, and I am impressed with how he shows tremendous faith.
God tells him to go to a specific house on a specific street to meet a man named Saul, from Tarsus. We see immediately that Saul’s reputation is infamous in this region of the world, so much so that Ananias is understandably nervous about these instructions. But with just a little more nudging — an emphatic “Go!” — Ananias goes to fulfill his mission. It probably helped that the Lord explains Saul’s past is not the issue any longer but his future will serve an important purpose, basically opening the Kingdom of God not only to Israelites but also to Gentiles and rulers of all ethnicities.
Ananias shows his faith not only by going to Saul as directed, but once there Ananias calls Saul “brother.” It’s a word that shows both compassion and connection.
Saul’s sight is restored, and he goes on to become the greatest missionary for Christ, perhaps the most significant preacher in the history of Christianity.
As for Ananias, he disappears from our story after Saul’s recovery. His mission is complete.
We may, to one degree or another, be like Ananias. We may not heal someone, but we may be the way people experience the living Christ. We may never be remembered beyond one or two episodes in a person’s life, but we may serve an important purpose in those instances.
Saul was so moved by Ananias that he recalls what he did for him during Saul’s testimony in Acts chapter 22.
May each of us make such an impact on someone else as we live out our faith.
— Todd Seifert, director of communications
Prayer for Reflection
Gracious God, please help each of us to make an impact in the world around us. Like Ananias, help us to be brave and to show our faith in You to those around us.
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