Acts 9:1-19 talks about Saul’s conversion, where Jesus met him on the way to Damascus & Saul was blind for 3 days. One of Jesus’ followers Ananias followed Jesus’ direction & went to administer healing to Saul.
Lesson 1: Be prepared for Jesus to challenge preconceived notions/ideas/beliefs.
When we give up our preconceived notions and follow God’s leading, amazing things happen. Both of these men had preconceived ideas, but put them aside when confronted with Jesus. Ananias had fears based on Saul persecuting the church & arresting those who followed Jesus. Saul had preconceived beliefs about those who followed Jesus & that they were heretics against God. Now Saul was indeed persecuting the church, so it is understandable why someone who follows Jesus might be afraid to go to Saul. Saul was zealous for his faith as a Jew. He didn’t want anything that didn’t adhere to his beliefs, so it is easy to see how he got to a place where he was persecuting Christians.
Ananias & Saul were probably both unsure of what was about to happen.
Then Jesus showed up & changed it all. Ananias went & did what Jesus asked him to do by going to Saul & delivering healing. Saul went & did what Jesus asked him to do by going into the city & waiting for direction. Then Saul was healed of his blindness & filled with the Holy Spirit. Saul was baptized immediately. Amazing!
Lesson 2: Jesus fights hate with love.
Jesus loves His people. He protects them & takes care of them. He fought the persecution of Christians by sending Ananias, His warrior. Jesus didn’t send Ananias in with a physical sword or negative or hateful words. He sent him in with healing and love.
Saul then turned from His ways and showed love to others. He stopped persecuting Christians & started following Jesus. He became an example of what it means to follow Christ.
In Matthew 5:43-44, Jesus says, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
You never know when someone might turn to Jesus, because they were shown love.
Lesson 3: We are God’s delivery people.
Healing & the Holy Spirit didn’t come from Ananias, it came from God. Much like a truck driver. The freight that is in the trailer does not come from the truck driver. He merely went to pick it up from the sender & took it to the person who is receiving it. That is what we are. We are delivering what God wants to give to people. He uses people to give to others.
Now God is capable of just making needs appear, but that is not how he chose to do things. He wants us to be his delivery people.
Now we may not always like the people we’re delivering the package to, but as a result of bringing it, amazing things could happen. Sometimes we see the results immediately like Ananias & the rest of the world did. Other times we may not see it immediately or at all. We just need to trust God & that He knows what He is doing.