September 19, 2012

Ananias Visits Saul

I walked out of Bible study this morning with my mind churning.

I was touched.

Today we discussed Ananias being obedient to the Lord in Damascus and going to visit Saul (who would later be called Paul).

Both men were Jews.

But Ananias was a follower of Christ and Saul was coming to Damascus with the sole intent of gathering believers and turning them over for certain persecution.

If you know this story in the Bible then you know that on that road to Damascus, Saul encountered a vision, a bright blinding light.. he encountered Jesus whom he had presumably never met in person and Jesus asked him why Saul was persecuting him.

Saul was struck blind and rather than striking fear in the hearts of believers in Damascus, fear was struck in his heart as he lay blind, confused and waiting in a house for someone to come and help him as the Lord had directed him in the encounter.

Also if you know this story- you know that then Ananias got a vision from the Lord to seek out Saul- the very person likely coming to target Ananias and his fellow Jews who followed Christ. Ananias questioned the Lord, but ultimately obeyed and sought out Saul.

And this is where my musings lingered...

I keep picturing that long walk Ananias had to take through Damascus seeking out the very man he had likely been planning on avoiding at all costs. Did he confer with other believers- other Jews who also accepted that Jesus Christ had been the long awaited Messiah spoken of throughout Scripture? Or did he simply step out knowing if he held back he may lose his courage?

I can only imagine how the flesh doubted and tugged him away as his sandaled feet maneouvred cobblestone and busy alleyways on his way to what he most likely imagined to be his sure demise.

What trust he must have had in his new found Messiah. I can't help but wonder what Scripture he clung to and recited as he walked, what kind of heart felt prayers he lifted up. I would imagine he avoided eye contact as he focused solely on each step and the one big step of obedience that lay ahead.

And lastly I imagine his palms sweating and his heart racing as he stood before that door- not knowing what wait for him on the other side other than obedience.

By this point Stephen had been stoned and doubtless word had reached the followers in Damascus that this Saul had been present.  This Saul, the very man he was seeking out, had witnessed the first follower of Christ being killed for professing faith in Jesus as Messiah and, this Saul had agreed with it.

I am touched by his obedience- by his long walk under a blazing sun that led him to the doorway of one of the most influential leaders Christianity would know.

His trust, and his obedience freed Saul of his spiritual and physical blindness and ushered him into a new life of renewal and grace.

I'm touched and so grateful  for his steps of obedience and the centuries of untold fruit it has borne.

*I am currently working through the Beth Moore Bible study: To Live is Christ which covers the life of Paul.

If you want to read more of this story you can read it in the book of Acts in the ninth chapter.

1 comment:

Jen Price said...

How amazing to think about that. It makes it so much more powerful.

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