One of the most amazing conversion stories that I read in the bible is that of the fanatical Saul to the passionate Paul. Acts 9 tells us about this fabulous conversion so beautifully. A zealous man imprisoning and murdering Christians, this Saul enjoyed and believed that it was godly for him to finish off the Christians. Till one fine day when he was literally stopped in his tracks by a strong light and a loud voice. Saul was led by his disciples to the house of a certain Judas in Damascus. The story goes on to tell us how this murdering, zealous Saul went on to become arguably one of the greatest evangelist and apostle of the Christian era. Saul, now Apostle Paul, wrote two-thirds of the New Testament. What an inspirational story! What a man! One encounter with God and his life was transformed.
But, somewhere along the story in Acts 9, we see a man whom the Lord used to touch Saul. He is part of the narrative for exactly 8 verses. But these 8 verses changed the life of Saul. This man was called Ananias.
We don’t know much about Ananias. But we do know that he was a disciple of Jesus. He was a man who heard the voice of God. There are three points that impress me about Ananias.
1. He was obedient to the voice of God. Even at the cost of risking his own life, he was obedient. Can you imagine him walking into the room with a perfectly fine Saul sitting there? That could be called suicidal. But he was willing to risk his life.
2. He addresses the murderer Saul as “Brother Saul”, thereby accepting that we are no one to judge the ones the Lord has accepted.
3. He was a willing vessel for the work of the Holy Spirit. He did not hog the limelight or build a ministry around Saul’s healing. He was willing to be used as per the Lord’s requirement. Nothing more. Nothing less.
The point I am driving is this. Ananias inspires me. I see him as a hero in Saul’s life. And that gives me hope to touch someone’s life. That should give you hope. That you can be a hero in some Saul’s life.
Because there is a hero within all of us.