I’m sitting here reading through the New Testament. I read and reflect on one chapter a day. Right now I’m in Acts, and I just recently finished reading chapter nine, about Saul’s conversion.
Do you know what I thought of reading about Ananias and Saul? Maybe it’s because Christmas is just around the corner, but I thought of baby Jesus. I thought about what it meant for God to send down His son to this earth.
See, we all know Saul was not a good man. At least, a lot of people see him as the bad guy at first. I mean, he approved of Stephen’s stoning. He set out to destroy Christianity by persecuting Christians. He would harass them, punish them, injure them, and imprison them.
Ananias knew all this too. He knew about Saul and what he was doing. So, honestly, I don’t blame him for asking God if He’s sure He wants him to help Saul. But then something was put on my heart.
I am Saul.
No, I have never approved of someone’s murder, or harassed and injured another. I have never done what Saul did. But do you know what I have done? I’ve judged. I’ve hated. I’ve been unforgiving, unloving, and rude. I know I’ve hurt plenty of feelings in my life. I’m not proud of it either.
Haven’t you done things you weren’t proud of? I’m sure you have. We all have, it’s the human in us. But God sent down His son to save us. “Jesus” means “God saves.” And, honestly, that’s led me to think of Ananias.
Because I have told you I have judged others before, I’ll also tell you that I’ve looked at another and thought that they could never change. Or, if they have changed, I believed it is false or won’t last. Stupid, right? But that’s what Ananias thought about Saul.
“Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”Acts 9:13-14
If you catch yourself judging another, remember where you yourself came from. God saved you, forgave you, changed your life. He saved Saul, forgave him, and changed his life. Why don’t you think He won’t with the person you are judging?
Let’s become more like Ananias, though. Yeah, he passed judgement on Saul. But he was also corrected in his judgement and followed God’s guidance too.
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. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”Acts 9:15-16
Here’s your hint of correction: as Christmas comes and we wake up on that joyous morning, let us keep our focus where it should be. Jesus Christ was born. The one who saves us all from Satan’s power was brought down to earth. He is the one who sat with sinners and drunkards. Who befriended the prostitutes. Who still called Judas a friend, despite what Judas was about to do.
Jesus was born to forgive us, save us, and reunite us with God the Father. He washes us all as white as snow when we accept Him into our lives. He can use any one of us to shine His light through, too. Even the one you find unlikely. So, instead of judging, let’s come alongside others and sharpen their iron, help them along. Guaranteed they will be sharpening our iron too.
Have a Merry Christmas.
Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized.Acts 9:17-18
2 thoughts on “Ananias and Saul”
I love how you weave the Christmas story in with this equally compelling tale from Acts. Here we see a righteous person who questioned God and got away with it. Yet others in the Bible did not—like John the Baptist’s dad. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Boofer Chick 🐣. You are a refreshing, self-effacing voice here on WP. God Bless!
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Thank you so much, David! I hope you and yours have a very Merry Christmas 🎄✝️
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