Jesus had said He was The Son of God, and for this reason, the Jewish Religious Leaders and Teachers of the Law of Moses had Jesus crucified for what they called was blasphemy because they did not believe Him.
Paul (Saul) was a notable 'up and coming' Jewish Pharisee, who had marked out his future in being of prominent importance within the Jewish Faith, amongst its Leaders, and was well known for his eagerness to imprison those who believed in the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, particularly because Christians believed He was The Son of God, for Jesus while on this earth had said this was trueof Himself, to Paul that was blasphemy. He believed all the Christians were unregenerate.
Many Christians had fled Jerusalem because of persecution and Paul was determined to pursue them and imprison them all, even to have them killed. This keen Pharisee was in a postiion to take some authority of the Jewish Religious Law to Damascus because he was both a Roman citizen and a Jewish one, so he knew this position would further his personal career in the Jewish Sanhedrin. and eagerly went on his way to Damascus with a group of men armed with documents with the authority of permission from the High Priest at Jerusalem to seize all Christians living there when a few miles away from Damascus, Jesus Himself appeared to Pauland spoke to him, all those in the party saw brilliant light, and heard a voice. The brightness of The Risen Christ's glory blinded Paul for three days, this man now knew that He had been persecuting Christ, The Messiah, which the Jewish people had long awaited, indeed He was The Son of God, and Paul acknowledged this.
Living in Damascus at this time, 34 A.D. was a devout observer of God's Word and a disciple of Christ, Ananias, a well respected Jewish man by the Jewish community dwelling there. Jesus appeared to Ananias in a vision and told him to go to a certain street and house where Paul was staying and that he was praying and expecting a man called Ananias to visit him and restore his sight in the Name of Jesus.
God in His Sovereignty and Grace had chosen to use the Church's chief opponent as his instrument and transform him as one of the greatest leaders and missionary for Christ and the Body of Christ to both Jews and Gentiles alike in the history of The Church.
Ananias was very afraid to approach Paul and told The Lord he was hesitant, for Paul had authority from The Jewish High Priest in Jerusalem to arrest any Christian. All the early disciples feared Paul and it was natural for Ananias to be alarmed. The fears of Ananias were lessened by the Lord as he handled Ananias's objections. Ananias, with Christ's assurance was able to 'put away' his fear of Paul and do His will. He allowed Christ Jesus to have first priority in his life.
However, Ananias obeyed God, knowing it was right to do so and necessary but to him it was unpleasant and risky to be in that sort of a position, to be meeting the biggest enemy of the new young church who had such an abusive reputation regarding his dealings with Christians. Although He was under The Lord's instructions, Ananiais doubted Paul's motives and his sincerity. Ananias greeted Paul warmly; because Ananias was obedient the result was exceptional for the Body of Christ. Paul's prayers were answered at the arrival of Ananias to Judas' house on Straight Street in Damascus.
Ananias laid his hands upon Paul and Paul's sight returned, he was baptized into the Family of God, received The Holy Spirit and immediately started to preach in synagogues to Jews about Christ, but he was known for being The Apostle to the Gentiles. Acts 9:1-22.
Ananias was the person who first told Paul about his worldwide mission from The Lord Jesus Christ, his need for repentance, forgiveness and his requirement of baptism.
Very few disciples become such a famous, useful, willing instrument of The Lord Jesus Christ like Paul, but all believers' can be like Ananias, obedient. God's Word declares that obedience is better than a sacrifice. Jesus continually reminds His disciples the importance of obedience in all areas. He challenges all to take note of the principles. Obedience means personal cost and total commitment. Christlike obedience expresses love for God. Obedience refers to a complete and whole lifestyle that comes from a personal covenant relationship with God through Jesus, His Son.
The reverence of God leads to an obedient lifestyle, willing to submit to Him and His will in scripture, which emphasises the need for faithfulness from believers, stressing trustworthiness.
Obedience is demanded of Christ's disciples because it demonstrates the reality of a person's faith in Jesus Christ. Both obedience and works are rewarded.
The Gospel of Christ results in an obedient response
to all that God has done for humanity.
Disobedience enters people's hearts for various reasons, impatience, fear, and unbelief in God and what has been accomplished for mankind through Jesus Christ. Disobedience results in judgement. Disobedience shows both in character and lifestyle.
Obedience is for one's own benefit and welfare. Scripture lays emphasis upon the need for believers to be trustworthy and loyal, this is particularly clear in the life and death of Jesus. Obedience to God secures rewards, and is an essential aspect of the life of a disciple that is a matter of commitment. Despite Ananias not wishing to confront Paul, he obeyed. God calls all believers to a commitment, to be faithful to Him. Ananias' fear of Paul turned to strength and love. Paul later recounted these events from His own perspective and of the devout person of good character that Ananias was. Paul called Ananias a dedicated man, loyal and faithfully committed to obey Christ. Ananias was willing to submit to Christ's authority and do what was asked of him.
Every Christian is important to the Body of Christ.
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