9. ANANIAS - an obedient disciple
"In Damascus there was a disciple name Ananias" (Acts 9:10).
As a disciple Ananias lived up to his name (which means "Jehovah is
gracious'). His life demonstrated and shared the grace of God.
Consider the person
Ananias represents those that Saul of Tarsus sought to find and take
prisoner as betrayers of the Jewish faith (Acts 9:1,2) The existence of
Christians in Damascus, the capital of Syria, indicates how the
Christian faith had spread. Doubtless, pilgrims at the Feast of
Pentecost received Christ through the preaching of the apostles (Acts
2), and shared their new faith on returning home (cf. Acts 11:19). See
Acts 9:1-19 for the story of Paul and Ananias.
Study the Scriptures
Ananias was "a devout man according to the law" with a good reputation
(Acts 22:12). He was the kind of person the Lord could trust and use.
In a vision he learnt of Saul's conversion. He was directed to go to
Straight Street and minister to him. At first the disciple was alarmed,
suspecting a trap. But, when the Lord assured him that Saul was a
chosen minister for the Gentiles, he obeyed. Study the ministry of
Ananias. He had a word of knowledge about Saul's future ministry –
which he shared. Then, as he laid hands on Saul, the new follower's
sight (which was lost when he saw the risen Lord) was restored and he
was filled with the Holy Spirit. Ananias introduced the late persecutor
to the local Christian community. Saul was probably baptised here. See:
Acts 9:17-19; 22:12-16.
1. Saul "began to preach in the local synagogues that Jesus is
the Son of God" (Acts 9:20). What scriptures would he use from the Old
Testament to 'prove' that Jesus was the Messiah and Son of God? See
Acts 9:22; 18:28.
2. Consider the obedience of Ananias. What can we learn from
his faith in the Lord's word, and his courage to carry it out?
3. Consider the scripture, "To obey is better than sacrifice"
4. How does Ananias compare with his namesake in Acts 5:1-11?
Apply some thoughts
1. Saulus Paulus (two of his three names are found in Acts
13:9) is introduced as the apostle to the Gentiles. His passion for the
Lord, and his compassion for the lost, is immediately evident (see 2
2. Pray for local Christians like Ananias.
3. Pray for believers like Paul, who have a special calling.