Online Bible Commentary
Answer the Call
Acts 9:10 Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, "Ananias." And he said, "Here I am, Lord." 11 So the Lord said to him, "Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying. 12 And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight." 13 Then Ananias answered, "Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. 14 And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name." 15 But the Lord said to him, "Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. 16 For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name's sake." 17 And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit." 18 Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized. 19 So when he had received food, he was strengthened. Then Saul spent some days with the disciples at Damascus. (NKJV)
The apostle Paul was born in Tarsus, Cilicia, which is now southern Turkey bordering the Mediterranean Sea. His birth name was Saul. At about the age of thirteen he moved to Jerusalem in order to study under the great Jewish religious leader Gamaliel. As a devout Pharisee Saul became the most vicious of those who persecuted Christians.
In about A.D. 35, while in his early thirties, Paul travelled from Jerusalem to Damascus to persecute the believers there. As he approached Damascus he was struck down and blinded by Jesus. Jesus called him to be the one to carry the gospel to the Gentiles (Acts 26:16-18). Saul answered the call. He was delivered to Damascus and to the home of a disciple named Judas.
Now, in this passage, we see that Jesus calls on another disciple, Ananias. Jesus came to Ananias “in a vision” and Ananias answered the Lord’s call (v. 10). Jesus directed him to go to Judas’ home and minister to Saul, who was “praying” (v.11). Jesus had already given Saul a vision that “a man named Ananias” would come and lay hands on him so that his sight would be restored (v. 12).
But Ananias expressed grave reservations to the Lord. Perhaps fearing for his life, he said that he had heard of this Pharisee named Saul who was persecuting the followers of Christ, called “The Way”, in Jerusalem (v. 13). Ananias told the Lord that Saul had been given authority by the chief priests to arrest disciples and return them to Jerusalem for trial (v. 14).
Despite Ananias’ protests, the Lord commanded him "Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name's sake” (vv. 15-16). In obedience, Ananias went to Judas’ home, laid hands on Saul, and said "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit" (v. 17).
Immediately “something like scales” fell from Saul’s eyes and his sight was restored (v. 18a). Saul was also filled with the Holy Spirit and Ananias baptized him (v. 18b).
Saul had not eaten or drunk anything during the three days that he had been blind so the next order of business was to feed him and strengthen him (v. 19a). After that Saul spent “some days” with the disciples at Damascus while they ministered to him (v. 19b).
So Saul became a convert to Christianity. He took all the necessary steps to answer the call of Jesus. He received Christ. He began praying. He received the Holy Spirit. He was baptized. He was discipled as he joined in Christian fellowship with other believers. This is how we answer the call of Jesus on our lives.
Unfortunately, some Christians forget the last step of the call. They decide that they do not need to go to church to be a Christian. They decide to go it alone, to be the lone ranger.
Paul became perhaps the greatest Christian ever. He wrote more books of the Bible than anyone else. It would never have happened if he had not been discipled and united in fellowship with other believers.
So Paul answered the call of Jesus on his life. Despite his concerns, Ananias also answered the call. He became the disciple who baptized Paul, beginning the Lord’s greatest ministry.
Christians must take that last step. We must be involved in a Bible believing church in order to become all that God wants us to be. We must answer the call.