I. Events Preceding Ananias’ Visit to Saul/Paul (Acts 9:10-16)
God appeared in a vision to a believer in Damascus named Ananias.
– The Revelation (v.10-12)
God told Ananias to go where Saul/Paul was – even giving him the street he could be found on! – and minister to his needs there.
– The Reluctance (v.13,14)
Knowing Saul’s evil past, Ananias is afraid to go.
It is possible – maybe even probable – Ananias knew Saul/Paul was on his way to Damascus, to arrest Christians just like Ananias! He was fearful of imprisonment and probable death… and assumed this was some kind of trick by Saul/Paul.
– The Reassurance (v.15,16)
God assures Ananias, telling him Saul/Paul is now a believer!
You can imagine Ananias’ response when God told him Saul/Paul was now also a believer! “Not him, Lord! That’s impossible!! He could never become a Christian!!!” Ananias felt like running away… but obeyed God anyway.
II. Events During Ananias’ Visit to Saul/Paul (Acts 9:17-19)
Saul/Paul’s first experience in this new life as a believer was to hear a fellow-believer call him, “Brother”.
Ananias laid hands on Saul/Paul, with a 2-fold result:
– Saul/Paul is healed of his blindness (v.17a,18a)
– Saul/Paul is filled with the Holy Spirit (v.17b,18b,19)
Ananias left a lasting impression on Saul/Paul. Later in the book of Acts, when Saul/Paul was telling a crowd about his conversion, Ananias was the only person he mentioned by name.
III. Events After Ananias’ Visit to Saul/Paul (Acts 9:20-25)
– Saul/Paul’s evangelism in Damascus (v.20-22)
Saul/Paul preached Jesus as the Christ in all the synagogues.
– Saul/Paul’s escape from Damascus (v.23-25)
Upon hearing of a plot against him, Saul escapes for Jerusalem.
Ananias was only in the spotlight for a moment. His role was small, but significant. Even though God told Ananias of His plans for Saul/Paul, Ananias probably did not appreciate the scope of what was about to happen through Saul/Paul.
We usually fail to appreciate what God can accomplish through our own “small part”. Fortunately, we are not asked to understand the big picture. We are simply asked to be faithful with the part God has given us to do.
What “small” opportunities are waiting for you today?
You can read the story of Ananias in Acts 9:10-19; 22:12-16.