Daily Good News – God’s 20/20 Vision
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Jun 17, 2015 689
“The Lord told Ananias, ‘Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.’
‘Lord,’ Ananias answered, ‘I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from chief priests to arrest all who call on your name’” (Acts 9:11-12).
Here is Ananias correcting the Lord, bringing him up-to-date with the truth about Saul of Tarsus. But he had only the human part of the story and could not see as God saw.
What can we learn from this? Firstly, the Lord was not interested in striking down Saul for his blatant persecution of his people; his purpose was to bring Saul into a saving relationship with himself, and for Saul to offer that same saving relationship to others. The Lord was not motivated by condemnation, but by forgiveness and transformation.
Jesus was asking Ananias to trust that he could turn their greatest enemy into the most powerful missionary for the gospel. Ananias had to ignore everything he had heard about this man and simply trust that Jesus was leading him. Saul’s conversion to Paul, the great apostle of Jesus, has been seen by some commentators as the single most important event in the history of the early Christian church (aside from the life, death and resurrection of Jesus). His work so defined Christianity and helped spread the word of Jesus’ love and redemption that, humanly speaking, Christianity might not have spread as it did without him.
Ananias was given a wonderful mission by God. Imagine if he had refused to obey God’s command. Instead, he found Saul, and laid his hands on him, declaring that Jesus himself has sent him, not just so that Saul would see again, but so that he would be filled with the Spirit. Paul was filled with the Spirit of God from that moment, and for the rest of his life, walked in the steps of Jesus over much of the known world. In our mission we, too, “must walk as Jesus walked” (1 John 2:6).