“A certain Ananias, who was a devout man according to the law and well spoken of by all the Jews living there, came to me; and standing beside me, he said, ‘Brother Saul, regain your sight!’ In that very hour I regained my sight and saw him.”
During his testimony in front of the Jews, there was a minor detail St. Paul left out. While it might not have been relevant to the original audience, I believe the details are significant for today’s Christian.
In this passage, St. Paul is describing his transformation. He was on his way to Damascus to arrest members of the Way, the name for the group of followers of Jesus, and have them imprisoned for their beliefs. Saul was, by all means, a terrorist by the standards of the world we live in today.
While I am sure you know the story well, when sharing the account in this passage, St. Paul fails to mention that Ananias wasn’t exactly excited about his task at hand. He and his fellow Christians were well aware of who Saul was and his history of persecuting those who believed Jesus was the Son of God.
When Jesus called upon Ananias with a vision to go and look for Saul, Ananias questioned what he was being asked out of fear. After being reassured by Jesus, he did as the Lord had told him.
I think as Christians, there is a fear inside each of us that keeps us from reaching the level of intimacy Jesus wants us to share with Him. We believe in who He is and what He accomplished on the cross. However, unlike Ananias, we are unwilling to allow our faith to take us out of our comfort zone.
Yes, Ananias questioned Jesus, demonstrating he was afraid of what he was asked to do. However, upon hearing the response Jesus gave, he followed where Jesus was leading him. Because of his courage, St. Paul regained his sight, and went on to lead more people to Jesus than anyone will ever be able to count.
Yes, God is sovereign and His will is carried out one way or another. I’m just curious what the Church would look like today if Ananias had allowed his fear to keep him from where Jesus wanted him to go? What in your own life is getting ready to be drastically changed for the better if you will replace fear with faith? What can you do today to begin taking steps down the path God has placed in front of you?