Acts

Acts 9:10-19 Saul Is Baptized And Called To Serve.

It was to a disciple named Ananias that the Lord spoke to in a vision concerning Saul, and he was open to hearing the Lord speak (v. 10). One can only imagine what it would have been like, not only to actually hear the Lord speak, but to call out one’s name by the One who knows us better than ourselves. He is told to go to the house of a man named Judas, where Saul was praying and waiting for a man named Ananias to come and put his hand on him “so that he might receive his sight” (vv. 11-12). Paul would later testify to this encounter. “Then a certain Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good testimony with all the Jews who dwelt there, came to me; and he stood and said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight.’ And at that same hour I looked up at him. Then he said, ‘The God of our fathers has chosen you that you should know His will, and see the Just One, and hear the voice of His mouth. For you will be His witness to all men of what you have seen and heard. And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord’” (22:12-16).

So we learn from Paul himself that this encounter on the road to Damascus was his own conversion experience, for Ananias addresses him as ‘brother Saul.’ It is also clear that baptism was an immediate response, and necessary for him to go forward as a disciple and bondservant of the Lord. However, this was not Ananias’ immediate response to the word of the Lord. Up until this encounter he had with the Lord, Saul was known as the chief persecutor of the church both in Jerusalem, and now with the intent of doing the same in Damascus (vv. 13-14). However, the Lord changed the course of Saul’s life, instead of persecuting the church he was chosen and now called to serve the Lord and His bride. He would also be called to suffer for His name’s sake (vv. 15-16). So Ananias laid his hands on Saul and he not only received his sight, but he also was filled with the Holy Spirit, and was baptized (vv. 17-18). It should be noted that though he was filled with the Spirit, it does not indicate that he did anything else that was unusual. He received food, was strengthened, and spent some days with the disciples at Damascus-as a brother (v. 19).

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