We need more Ananias
Texts. Acts 9:10-19; 22:12-21
Who was Ananias? He was just one of the believers in the Church at Damascus. But the role he played in the life of Paul at a critical time of his conversion was very significant. Can you imagine the man God used to lay hands on the greatest Apostle of all times? Imagine what his reputation would have been like in Damascus among the disciples after the conversion of Paul! Many feared Paul because he was a persecutor and blasphemer but he and Ananias developed some friendship after the later prayed for him.
Paul gives us a clue of what type of person Ananias was when he testified that Ananias was “a devout man according to the law, having a good testimony with all the Jews” who dwelt at Damascus. He was a man who had similar credentials to Cornelius. Ananias must have been a man with an intimate relationship with God for God to have spoken to him in a vision about Paul. Once God spoke to him, he went and prayed for Paul doubting nothing. That he openly accepted Paul without being judgmental of his past is evidenced by the way he addressed him calling him brother. “And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord [a]Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 9:17).
Where are the Ananias of our generation? We need men like Ananias who are silent workers in the kingdom. Unassuming men who are sensitive to the Holy Spirit, whom the Holy Spirit can send on a dangerous mission to pray and counsel “terrorists” like Paul. What role did he play in the life of Paul? Often, when the story of Paul is told, little or nothing is said about Ananias, who played a very crucial role during the conversion of Paul.
Ananias laid hand on Paul to pray for him to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Once he laid hands on Paul, he was immediately filled with the Holy Spirit and the scales fell off from his eyes and Paul was able to see physically. Paul would never have thought that he was blindfolded by the devil until that momentous hour when he was prayed for. You can imagine how Paul would have felt when the scales fell off his eyes and he was able to see clearly. Thereafter, he was baptised.
Ananias played another critical role in the life of Paul, which Paul himself testified. God used him to explain to Paul his mission and purpose on earth. He explained to him that he was a chosen vessel of God to be a witness to the Gentiles (Acts 22:12-18).
We do not know how long Ananias spent with Paul after his conversion trying to disciple and guide him. The Scriptures was silent on that. Rather, the Scriptures revealed the role of Barnabas in commending Paul to the apostles at Jerusalem when they were skeptical about his conversion and avoided him (Acts 9:26-27).
Paul would always remain grateful to God for the ministry of Ananias and Barnabas for the roles they played in his life at the inception of his conversion and ministry. Ananias teaches us how to treat new converts without bias or discrimination. CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
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