Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Acts 9:10-12

Summary retelling of Acts 9: 10-12:

There was a guy named Ananias who lived in Damascus – the town to which Saul was headed.  Jesus talks to Ananias and Ananias let’s Jesus know that he’s listening.  Jesus tells Ananias to go to the house of Judas where Saul is staying and praying.  Jesus tells Ananias that Saul has already received a vision about Ananias coming to talk to him.  Jesus also tells Ananias that there will be a sign of his work: Saul’s sight will be restored.

Thoughts for Today:
First Thought:
Okay, today we have three things happening that the world would really struggle with believing.  The first – and probably most obvious – is that Ananias is said to have heard the voice of Jesus.  And we are expected to believe it!  And we do.  Yet, I guarantee you that if any of us heard someone proclaim that they had heard a direct voice from God we would immediately be skeptical of the story.  Now don’t get me wrong.  I do think there are people out there who hear voices because of chemical imbalances in their brain.  But I also think that most people who call themselves followers of God could also stand to benefit from being a bit more open-minded to the supernatural power of God, too.

If someone you knew said that they heard a voice from God, how would you respond?

Second Thought:
Another odd thing is that we are told of Saul seeing a vision.  Again, most of us would look funny at a person if they claim to have seen a vision.  Yet, we are told here that Jesus says that Saul has seen a vision.  We told it as though it is fact and we are to believe it.  God does send visions when He wants to get a particular message across.  Now, visions might not be commonplace – but as with the prior thought I think we as Christians could benefit very much from being more open-minded about God’s use of visions.

If someone you knew told you that they had a vision from God, how would you respond?

Third Thought:
The third strange dynamic of this story is that we are told of a healing that is coming.  God tells Ananias that he is to lay his hands on Saul and Saul will see again.  In today’s day and age, this is a very strange thing indeed.  Today people get better through surgery.  People get better through medicine.  But we don’t think people can get better just by touching someone else.  Yet, this story asks us to believe that it can really happen.  I think most Christians could benefit from being a little more open-minded about God’s use of healing.

If someone you knew claimed that God told them that they were to heal you of something, how would you respond?

Passage for Tomorrow: Acts 9:13-17
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