Love In Action
Great God of love, You know me as I really am, yet You love me. How very thankful I am!
Read Acts 9:10-19
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION
Ananias has been described in his response to Saul as being, “magnanimous in spite of everything.” Now that’s a challenge only God can enable us to meet.
We should not judge the importance of Ananias’ part in the narrative simply by its brevity. Without this good man’s intervention, Saul of Tarsus might not have become Paul, apostle to the nations. Notice, too, what is required in a follower of Jesus when called to play a small but crucial part in the unfolding drama of redemption.
Ananias is a man of deep and perfectly natural spirituality. When Christ calls his name, the response is immediate: “Yes, Lord” (10). Only someone who is used to holding regular conversations with Christ would react in this way, so we realize why Jesus singles him out to minister to the blind, broken and confused persecutor in need of help. The reality of Ananias’ devotion and friendship with Christ is further indicated by the freedom with which he questions his commission, being honest concerning the danger involved in embracing a known enemy of the followers of Jesus. Genuine prayer does not result in mechanical obedience; it is a reverent conversation in which the disciple is free to ask questions. Ananias’ question was understandable: not all apparent believers are what they seem to be (5:1-10). However, knowing that his question has been heard, and receiving confirmation of his task, Ananias plays his role to perfection.
Verses 17-19 probably summarize what happened over a significant period of time, but at its heart is a single phrase which underlines the spiritual depth and sincerity of Ananias and must have come to the bewildered persecutor as manna from heaven: “Brother Saul.” We know very little about Ananias, but he had a crucial role in the early development of the church. Perhaps the growth of the kingdom today requires more disciples similarly in touch with Jesus, ready to embrace as brothers and sisters the most unlikely people.
Is there anyone who played a role like that of Ananias in your life? Give thanks for them, and ask to be ready to act in the same way.
Teach me, Lord, the importance of seizing every opportunity to help someone on their journey toward faith.
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