by Scott Kerr
This passage in Acts 9 has to be one of the more popular. Everyone likes to talk about Saul’s experience on the road to Damascus. No doubt this was one of the more important events in the New Testament as the persecutor Saul becomes the evangelist Paul after having his life-changing encounter with Jesus. Hopefully you have had your own Damascus Road experience even if your change was not as dramatic as Paul’s. However, what often gets overlooked in this passage is the role played by Ananias. If you know Paul’s story, you most likely recognize the name Ananias but most likely haven’t given much thought to him. But Ananias gives us a great lesson on faith even if he is not famous.
Ananias shows how when you have faith in God, you sometimes have to confront your own fears. When Ananias was told by the Lord in a vision to go meet Saul, he says to the Lord, “But I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints.” It wasn’t as if God didn’t already know this but Ananias was expressing his fear. He had a choice, confront his fears and obey God or let his fears control him. Thankfully, Ananias didn’t let his fear stop him from obeying God. Ananias also shows us that sometimes faith has to deliver a difficult message. God told Ananias that he was to tell Saul that he was God’s chosen instrument. That is a great message. But he was then to tell him all that he would have to suffer in fulfilling this calling. Not such a fun message. Any person of faith at times has to deliver difficult messages whether that is a message that is pointing out sin or a message that reminds another believer that following the Lord is sometimes painful or filled with sacrifice. We like to share words that are exciting while we are reluctant to share the difficult ones. However, both are important and Ananias was faithful to share both with Saul.
In the end, here is what we see about Ananias as he lived by faith in God: he got to witness the great miracle of the scales falling off Saul’s eyes and help Saul begin his journey as Paul. And this is really what I want you to see today. Ananias, as a person of faith, had an impact on Paul’s life to help him be the evangelist he became. We don’t talk much about Ananias, but Ananias impacted Paul’s life and really played a part in every life that Paul touched moving forward. Maybe you will not be a famous evangelist. Maybe people will not recognize you even as a great religious leader on any level. But maybe you are the person of faith who impacts lives who then go on to impact many others. Maybe you are the one who doesn’t get the recognition but you play just as important a role as the one whose name gets recognized. God no doubt considers both equally important and equally faithful. Whichever role God has for you, be a person of faith. As you face your fears and are obedient to God, as you share God’s message whether fun or difficult, you are impacting lives that will impact lives, that will impact lives. As a person of faith your influence can be greater than you ever imagined and greater than the popularity of your name.