Acts 9:9, “And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank.”
When a soul encounters God and is compelled to repentance, it is a daunting experience, a shaking at the most basic level so much so that at first even the physical needs are neglected or all but forgotten. The transformation, bring one under the guidance of the law of the Spirit of life, thereby making those things the flesh once thought important and mandatory, irrelevant and unnecessary.
Saul spent three day with Christ in the spirit, separated from the physical, just as the Savior spent three days in the grave, rising from the tomb in a new state.
The time that elapses between one’s encounter with Christ, and their receiving spiritual insight, and a desire for spiritual nourishment is relatively short. Once a man or woman’s eyes are opened to the reality of who Jesus is, and what He is offering them, they are quick to pursue Him and desire more of His love and grace.
Once we have become blind to the world, our spiritual eyes can be opened that we may perceive the mysteries of the kingdom of God. If we are focused on the worldly things, and only catch a glimpse of the Kingdom from our peripheral vision, we will never be able to enter in, to know the fullness of that which God offers His beloved, nor will we be able to walk in the authority and power rightly ours.
After three days, for the first time in his life Saul was able to truly see. The eyes of his understanding had been opened, and he was no longer a blind man. From this point forward in his existence, all would be seen in a new light, the true light, retaining the truth that Jesus is Lord as the one constant throughout his life. This light brought about a new countenance in Saul, although his physical sight had been taken from him, a far greater sight had replaced it still. Although Saul was blind, he was not perturbed. He did not cry out in desperation, he did not seek out healers, he waited patiently for the plan of God to come to its rightful end, accepting all that God had ordained with gladness and absent of murmuring.
The men that journeyed with Saul had to return to Jerusalem alone. Saul obeyed the command of the Lord and went into the city; he remained in Damascus. From now Saul would never persecute again, rather, he would become the object of the very persecution he unleashed.
Acts 9:10, “Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, ‘Ananias’. And he said, ‘here I am, Lord.”
Although this verse is simple and straightforward enough, it raises some questions for those of us living in this generation. Can it be said of us, as it was said of Ananias, that we are truly disciples of Christ, no matter the city we might be living in? If not, why not? Undercover Christianity is as dangerous and counterproductive as the indifference toward the duty all of us are commanded to undertake. Speaking to the lost and the dying about the love and mercy of our Lord was not a command directed only toward pastors and evangelists, it was not a command directed only to deacons and elders, but to all who claim the name of Christ, who have been redeemed by the blood of His sacrifice and walk in the light of His love.
A faithful disciple will always learn from his or her master, and one can readily ascertain who the disciple’s master is by their conduct, their actions, their speech and their desires. If we are Disciples of Christ, we must learn from Christ, and daily grow to be more like Christ in all we endeavor to do. Eventually those with whom we come in contact with will no longer see us, but Christ in us, identifying the Master by the actions of His disciple.
So who was Ananias? The name Ananias can be translated to mean the Lord is compassionate, but it can also be translated to mean the Lord is my defense. Other than the fact that he was a disciple of Christ, and a devout man according to the law, having a good testimony, not much is known of him.
It is enough to know that when the Lord spoke to him, Ananias was quick to answer, willing to be the vessel God would use to fulfill his plan. The prompt response, and unflinching obedience to the voice of the Lord is the sign that is ever present in the lives of those who follow after the One who was obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
Philippians 2:8, “And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”
Because he was a faithful and obedient disciple of Christ, Ananias not only heard the voice of the Lord, but also did according to the Lord’s command even if in the beginning he was a little hesitant. Within Ananias’s reaction lies a lesson for all of us who aspire to grow in God, and reach a new level of maturity. Sometimes God will ask us to perform tasks and speak to souls that will take us out of our comfort zone, that will challenge logic itself, but we must be obedient nonetheless. Ananias knew of Saul’s reputation, he knew that he was largely the source of the church’s troubles, yet when the Lord spoke he had no choice but to obey. The goodness of Christ is made all the more evident by this act of sending Ananias to meet the former persecutor of the brethren.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.