Summary: Saul is visited by Ananias, and brought into the fold of the church at Damascus.
Saul and Ananias
Acts 9:10 – 9:22
Jeff Hughes – June 21, 2003
Calvary Chapel Aggieland
a. Last week, we saw Saul as he had an encounter with the Lord on the road to Damascus. Saul was stopped in his tracks while he was on a mission to go round up a bunch of Christians there.
b. As we covered last week, Damascus was about 140 miles from Jerusalem, about a six or seven day journey. Damascus by the way, is the oldest continuously inhabited city on the face of the earth.
c. It is the current capital of the nation of Syria, and it was a major trading city in the ancient world. Josephus records that the city was founded by Uz, the grandson of Shem, and the great-grandson of Noah. Job was from “the land of Uz”.
d. We see the city tangling with the Jewish nation many times in the Old Testament, as they used their trading power to hurt the nation.
e. Our study this morning will focus on two main themes. First, the faithfulness and obedience of a man named Ananias, and how he risked his life to obey God.
f. Second, we will look at God’s grace and forgiveness really walked out, as Saul is miraculously healed of his blindness and get baptized as an outward symbol of his inward change.
g. But first, let’s pray, and ask the Lord to bless our study this morning.
a. Alexander the Great and a small company of soldiers approached a strongly fortified walled city. Alexander, standing outside the walls, raised his voice and demanded to see the king.
b. When the king arrived, Alexander insisted that the king surrender the city and its inhabitants to Alexander and his small band of fighting men. The king laughed, “Why should I surrender to you? You can’t do us any harm!”
c. Alexander offered to give the king a demonstration. He ordered his men to line up single file and start marching. He marched them straight toward a sheer cliff. The townspeople gathered on the wall and watched in shocked silence as, one by one, Alexander’s soldiers marched without hesitation right off the cliff to their deaths!
d. After ten soldiers died, Alexander ordered the rest of the men to return to his side. The townspeople and the king immediately surrendered to Alexander the Great. They realized that if a few men were actually willing to commit suicide at the command of this dynamic leader, then nothing could stop his eventual victory.
e. Are you willing to be as obedient to the ruler of the universe, Jesus Christ, as those soldiers were to Alexander? Are you as dedicated and committed? Think how much power Christ could have in our area with just a portion of such commitment.
f. Ananias was a man that was that obedient to God. Ananias’s faith and obedience was used bring Saul into the fold of the church, and as we will see in the coming weeks and months, this is a turning point for the church.
g. God’s will was to use Saul to reach the gentiles like no one else in the church could. Growing up in Tarsus, a Roman citizen, a fluent speaker of Greek, and a Jew was perfectly equipped by God to be all things to all men so that people would come to Christ.