April 15, 2016
Ananias went and entered the house; laying his hands on him, he said, “Saul, my brother, the Lord has sent me, Jesus who appeared to you on the way by which you came, that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately things like scales fell from his eyes and he regained his sight. He got up and was baptized, and when he had eaten, he recovered his strength. He stayed some days with the disciples in Damascus, and he began at once to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. Acts_9:1-20
How difficult it is for us to trust someone who has betrayed us.
Ananias was asked by God to trust this Saul who was imprisoning anyone who professed belief in Jesus. That put Ananias at risk of being captured himself by this “Sheriff of Nottingham.” But of course, obedience is the Way of Christianity. Besides love. So Ananias obediently loved Saul, just as Jesus did. He healed him through the grace of God and, as we saw, a transformation occurred! Saul becomes Paul, one of the greatest evangelists the Church has ever known.
And yet it’s interesting to see this transformation in light of the stubbornness of “the Jews” in John’s Gospel. As Jesus preached his “Bread of Life Discourse,” those who we would today call fundamentalists, would not even listen to anything that was new or the least bit different from their regimented ideas of religion and faith.
And yet, as Jesus proved, time and again, everything that He taught and did was almost verbatim from the Books of the Torah and the Prophets that they professed to be the foundation of their faith. Somewhere mixed in there, there was hypocrisy. And the hypocrisy was, that although these Jews professed to be religious, their whole lives were centered on their own glorification, under the ruse of it being for God.
Guess it’s just something we have to be very careful about, too. How willing are we to step out of our safety zones to love an enemy? How willing are we to listen to something that may threaten our belief system and yet still be for the better good of Humanity? How willing are we to truly follow in the footsteps of Jesus? Saints throughout the ages have done just that. And we are no less saints than they. Jesus IS the bread of life. And we feast on Him for Life ETERNAL!
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