“A Study About Ananias”
There are two men in the New Testament by the same name.
The first we read about in Acts 5:1-5. He lied about how much he had received for a piece of property he sold. The Holy Spirit revealed to Peter how much Ananias had received. When Peter questioned him, he gave the Apostle a different figure. Peter confronted him about the discrepancy and told him, “you have not lied to man, but to God.” At that very moment, Ananias dropped dead. WOW! That would be an attention getter.
It is actually the second Ananias I want to focus on in this study. We read about him in Acts 9, in conjunction with the conversion of Saul of Tarsus, who later became known as the Apostle Paul.
As we look at this man of God, I want to look at his life from two perspectives.
A. Ananias and God. Acts 9
Saul of Tarsus was on his way to Damascus, intending to bring great pain to the Christians in that city.
In Acts 9:1, we read, “Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the LORD, went to the High Priest.” He was obsessed in his desire to stamp out those who were followers of the Christ.
God, however, got Saul’s attention in a way that he never expected.
A blazing light from heaven sent Saul crashing to the ground. He heard a voice speaking to him —
“Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” Folks, when a person’s name is used in rapid fire like we have here – “Saul, Saul” – we had better listen. When my mother used to say, “Leonard Walter”, I knew I had better pay attention. God had Saul’s attention and when Saul asked, “Who are You LORD?” Our LORD revealed Himself to the man and said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” Acts 9:4-5
It is amazing to me how quickly this new convert reported for service. In verse 6, he asks “LORD, what do you want me to do?” The LORD responded, “Arise, go into the city and you will be told what you must do.”
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God has a plan and a purpose for every life. He knows exactly what He was going to do with Saul’s life. The man from Tarsus was blinded by the bright light from heaven, so those who were with him, led him into the city and he was without his sight for three days.
In that city, Damascus, was a man named Ananias. Now we come to —
1. God’s revelation to Ananias. Acts 9:10-12
a. The LORD spoke to him in a vision.
b. Ananias recognized it was the LORD speaking to him and said, “Behold (look), I am here LORD.”
• Do you recognize the LORD’s voice when He speaks to you?
• Are you available when He speaks to you?
c. Then the LORD told him about this new convert.
• “Go to a street called Straight and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying.” Vs. 11
• “I have shown him a vision of a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight.”
2. We see the Reluctance of Ananias.
Have you ever questioned something that God asked you to do? Ananias did.
a. He shared with the LORD some of the things he had heard about this man.
“Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he has done to Your saints at Jerusalem. And here he has authority from chief priests to bind all that call on Your name.” Acts 9:13-14
Note: The LORD was totally familiar with everything about Saul. But He also knows there has been a genuine transformation in Saul’s life. He is a new man and God has plans for him.
• Do you know that it is the same way for you and me – God has plans for you and me.
3. Then we have the LORD’s Reassurance to Ananias.
Note: The LORD is a better judge of someone’s potential than we are. He knows exactly how He plans to use our lives. Acts 9:15-16,
But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”
By now, Ananias is reassured that his assignment is from the LORD and is for God’s glory.
B. Now let’s Consider Ananias and Saul.
1. Ananias goes with a message to Saul. “And Ananias went his way and entered the house and putting his hands on him said, ‘Brother Saul, the LORD, even Jesus, that appeared to you in the way as you were coming, has sent me, that you might receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’”
a. The transformation in Saul. Normally, he would have been someone to fear. Now, Ananias greets him as a “Brother in Christ”.
b. He reminds Saul of the encounter he had with the LORD on his way to Damascus.
c. He assures him that just as the LORD gave him spiritual sight, he is now going to restore his physical sight.
2. We see his ministry to Saul.
a. We read in vs. 18, “And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales; and he received his sight forth with and arose and was baptized.”
▪ Whatever was hindering his sight, fell away.
▪ He could see clearly.
▪ He got up and was baptized.
Baptism does not save us, but it is a very important step in a believer’s life. It is an outward public witness of an inward personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Have you received Christ into your life as Savior and LORD? If you have, have you followed Him in believer’s baptism? If you haven’t, I urge you to do so. Call me at 805-535-4325 and let me know you are ready to obey the LORD and be baptized.
We will soon be having our first baptism, as a new church.
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
b. We read of his proclamation over Saul’s life. Ananias spoke to Saul and said, “The God of our fathers has chosen you, that you should know His will, and see that Just One and should hear the voice of His mouth. For you shall be a witness unto all men of what you have seen and heard.”
God has chosen each of us to know His will.
He wants us to see our LORD and hear His voice.
He wants each of us to be a witness to others.
May it be so,