Ananias is a person in scripture who we know so little about, he appeared today in a daily reading of mine and I was intrigued to find that this man only appears in seven verses found in Acts chapter 9. He is simply described as a ‘Disciple’. That’s it. No other words remain. There is no mention of a wife, or children, length of time saved, no mention of his job. Nothing. Simply he was a disciple.
Yet these seven verses reveal a lot of his character.
He was in tune with God. I would find it hard to believe God would send him to assist is Saul’s conversion if he were not. The vision he received was clear and concise.
The Lord told him, “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.”
Wow. What a calling. Go and help the man who has been brutally killing christians to find me. This reveals his second character… he is careful, Ananias double checks that Gods sure. He challenges Him by saying I have heard reports that this man is here to arrest people who call up on God. Yet Gods answer is definitive: Go! And he explains that Saul was chosen by God.
The third character revealed here is simple, he was faithful. He trusted the word of God and went to see Saul knowing his life could be held in the balance. He trusted the Lord of heaven and earth would keep him safe.
What amazes me is his fourth character trait. Knowing Saul’s past and knowing Saul’s sins he comes along side him. He brings him into the knowledge of God and assists in his baptism and then disciples the man. But then he is never spoken of again. Ananias propels Saul into ministry, he assists in scriptures most transformational salvation and yet there is no word of Ananias after. He leaves Saul with God. He doesn’t try to instruct him, he doesn’t condemn him, he simply trusts. He humbly knows his place in the kingdom. He knew his place was to come along side this man and invite him into the kingdom and then he watched as Saul taught, as Saul ministered as Saul’s life went from terroriser to testimony, from murderer to ministry.
What did Ananias do in those years? I believe he prayed for his friend. I believe he stood in HIS promises and stood in HIS city and grew where he was planted. I believe he cheered him on from afar.
He never went with Saul, he never tried to hog the limelight, so to speak. He never wanted to be known as the guy that night, no, no. He simply followed the call of God for his life.
Oh how easy it would have been to have scrambled to the front and taken credit, and lived life through Saul’s call. But Ananias knew his place. He humbly allowed God to use him in the moment and to then use Saul in a completely different light, and so the kingdom grew.
We all have a place in Gods kingdom, but I believe we all at times need to be like Ananias, we need to sow seeds into the lives of others putting our arm around them, watching the scales fall from their eyes as they see God for the first or fiftieth time, and through prayer- allowing them to flourish into the man or woman God called them to be. Watching as the kingdom is advanced through them cheering them on and humbly knowing our place in the house of God.
Who is your Saul? Who are you helping to propel into a fragrant and abundant future of evangelism? Discipleship? Intercessory prayer? Healing ministries? Missions? Preaching? Are you willing to be Ananias and allow God to move through you and another? For What would our world look like today without the discipleship of Saul?