Summary: In this passage, we have the visions of the blinded Paul and the Christian Ananias which took place In Damascus. Ananias was understandably reluctant to approach this notorious persecutor, who had come to Damascus expressly to arrest Christians
March 4, 2014
By: Tom Lowe
Title: Ananias Ministers to Paul (9:10-19a)
10 And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision,
Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.
11 And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house
of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold , he prayeth,
12 And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might
receive his sight.
13 Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy
saints at Jerusalem:
14 And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.
15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the
Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.
17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, t
he Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest
receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.
18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose,
and was baptized.
19a And when he had received meat, he was strengthened.
In this passage, we have the visions of the blinded Paul and the Christian Ananias which took place In
Damascus. Ananias was understandably reluctant to approach this notorious persecutor, who had come to
Damascus expressly to arrest Christians like himself. Ananias was instructed to come to Saul, restore his
sight, baptize him, and reveal his commission to him. The commission is given in verses 15-16. Paul will now
be a witness for Christ; the former persecutor of Christ would now be persecuted for his own witness to
10 And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.
And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias;
Ananias was a common name among the Jews, which in its Hebrew form was Hananiah. Three men have this name in the New Testament. The most important of the three was the disciple from Damascus whom God used to minister to Saul (Paul) after his conversion. We know nothing about Ananias except what this passage tells us. He was one of the leaders of the Damascus church, and as such, he was one of Saul’s targets. Paul describes him as “a devout man according to the Law,” with a good testimony before others—“And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there, (Acts 22:12). Now, this is not a description of His Christian character, but of his Hebrew character. He was not a Hellenist, but a Hebrew. Paul is the last man to describe a Christian as a devout man according to the Law.
When Ananias laid he hands on Saul, he received his sight and was filled with the Holy Spirit. We do not know how the Gospel came to Damascus nor how Ananias was converted. The book of Acts does not give us a complete history of the early church, but reports only the important events of its growth. It is significant that Ananias was simply a disciple (and not an apostle) in that Paul’s apostleship was not founded on the ministry of another apostle (Gal. 1:1, 12). Tradition says that later Ananias became bishop of Damascus and died a Martyr.
Another Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira was part of the early church at Jerusalem (Acts 5:1-10). Their act of selling property to appear as though they were giving like the others (Acts 4:32-37), and then keeping part of the money, resulted in God’s judgment of their hypocrisy with death.
The third Ananias was the high priest and president of the Sanhedrin at the time of Paul’s arrest (Acts 23:2). His haughtiness at the time of Paul’s arrest was characteristic of his whole tenure. His apparent cooperation with the conspirators who were seeking to assassinate Paul (Acts 23:12-15) further reveals his unscrupulous character. Ananias himself was murdered by assassins for his cooperation with the Romans.
Why was Ananias of Damascus chosen to convey Saul’s commission instead of the apostles in Jerusalem? The answer may be found in one of the following reasons: