The Chosen26th August 2017
In Acts 9 the Bible records Saul’s Conversion. Saul was a persecutor who wanted to destroy all followers of Jesus. Here it doesn’t really say how many were put in prison because of Saul, but let’s just assume the numbers were a lot.
I want to put the focus on Ananias today. Ananias was the disciple appointed by Jesus to heal Saul because Saul had gone blind. Let’s imagine put ourselves in his shoes for a bit. What could he be thinking when Jesus told him to heal their persecutor?
“Wait… Jesus, did you really mean go and heal this guy who had been after us all this time? I mean he put a lot of us in jail, you know that right? This could stop him doing so, why would you want to do something so out of mind?”
Of course we can’t know what Ananias was thinking, but the Bible does record what he replied when Jesus told him to go.
“I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.” (Acts 9:13-14)
Ananias probably didn’t go through that thought process, but he definitely wanted to double check Jesus meant what he said. So then Jesus replied:
“GO! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.” (Acts 9:15-16).
Okay. Sure Jesus. You know everything so I shall do so.
And so Ananias went and did what Jesus had planned all along. Saul started preaching for the good news!
But how many of us today have hesitated on doing what Jesus had told us to do because that person or that group Jesus wants us to reach seem harmful to us? Saul was definitely a dangerous man to be approached to. For all we know Ananias could’ve been put to jail the second he approached Saul’s place. The smart thing would’ve been avoiding Saul at all cost. Yet Ananias didn’t! He followed Jesus’ plan, healed Saul by God’s will, and Saul became a very influential disciple in the later parts of New Testament.
I want to encourage you today that just because we can’t see it, doesn’t mean God isn’t going to use that person or that group. The disciples probably didn’t see the day Saul would be converted, but Jesus had planned all along for Saul to be the chosen instrument. We probably can’t see progress in the person or the people we have been called to invest in, to care for, but God has the ultimate plan all along. Do what God tells you to do, plant that seed, and one day it will grow abundantly, all in God’s perfect timing.