Acts 9 contains one of the most famous conversion stories of all time (Paul). This event, monumental as it was, overshadows a man who was courageous, obedient, and a disciple of Jesus Christ. I’m talking about Ananias. Remember him? Read Acts 9:10 and you’ll be introduced to him.
“In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!” (NIV)
God calls him by name and ask him to do the unthinkable. Go and pay a visit to a passionately brutal Pharisee by the name of Saul (aka Paul). So brutal, Ananias already knew him (word travels fast amongst church people). Word had spread like wildfire about this zealous sword-carrying member of the Sanhedrin. He desired one thing: Permission to throw anyone belonging to the Way (Lord’s Disciples) in prison. (Acts 9:2)
Yet, despite everything Ananias heard and thought about Saul he obeyed God. Don’t toss his story out so quickly. This is big! Here’s a disciple asked to disciple one of Christianity’s greatest theologians, only to fade away into obscurity ten verses later. What an example Ananias leaves us. Ananias had no idea Paul would co-author with the Holy Spirit some of the most inspiring books of our Bible. Romans, I & II Corinthians, and the Epistles. Ananias had no idea Paul would even accept him. God gave him no promise that his life would be spared. Yet, he was obedient.
It cuts straight to the heart of what it means to be a disciple of Christ, obedience to God’s Word and a willingness to lay down our life for others. Here are my questions to you:
- Would you be willing to trust in God’s Word only? Despite your feelings?
- Would you be willing to obey God if it meant making someone else better than you?
- Would you be willing to obey God if it meant fading away to never be heard of again?