Although Saul was misguided in his fierce persecution of Christians, he thought he was doing God’s will in confronting what he believed to be a fanatical sect.
As Saul journeyed to Damascus to capture Christians and drag them back to Jerusalem, Jesus dramatically surprised him. Saul’s Damascus Road experience changed not only his life, but it changed the world, as well.
Read the account of Paul’s conversion experience in Acts 9:1-9. Why did the Lord send him immediately to Ananias after this experience? What important lesson is here for us?
“Many have an idea that they are responsible to Christ alone for their light and experience, independent of His recognized followers on earth. Jesus is the friend of sinners, and His heart is touched with their woe. He has all power, both in heaven and on earth; but He respects the means that He has ordained for the enlightenment and salvation of men; He directs sinners to the church, which He has made a channel of light to the world.
“When, in the midst of his blind error and prejudice, Saul was given a revelation of the Christ whom he was persecuting, he was placed in direct communication with the church, which is the light of the world.”-Ellen G. White, The Acts of the Apostles, p. 122.
How did Jesus surprise Ananias? What attitude must Ananias have had in order to follow the Savior’s instructions? Acts 9:10-16.
Try to put yourself in the position of Paul after meeting Jesus on the road to Damascus. What a shock to him. Also, try to put yourself in Ananias’ position. What a shock it must have been to him, as well. What do these accounts teach us about the ways in which we might be called by the Lord to face and do things that, at the time, we don’t understand? Why, though, must we obey the Lord regardless?