So Ananias went and found Saul. He laid his hands on him and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road, has sent me so that you might regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Instantly something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he got up and was baptized. Afterward he ate some food and regained his strength.
I love the interaction between Ananias and Paul—He called him “brother.” Those were some of his first words to the guy that had been killing believers: “brother.” I love that even when we are set against Jesus, He’s not set against us.
I’ve been asking myself: What did Paul do to deserve to be called “brother?” The answer is, nothing! In fact he deserved to be called “enemy.” But that’s how the Gospel works. This is how Jesus works. We always get what we don’t deserve. The world may think they are enemies of God but He sees them for who He created them to be: His sons and daughters.
Oh that is too good!!!! And how much more—now knowing our identity and our security in this scandalous grace—do we need to extend it to those who haven't caught the revelation yet? To proclaim it to those whose scales haven't fallen yet from their eyes?
I just keep coming back to your first thought about Jesus identifying Himself with us. Jesus saw a friend and a brother in Saul, even though Saul had made himself out to be God’s enemy. And Ananias didn't physically peel the scales off of Saul, he interceded, he believed the healing for him. That’s the call for all of us: to pray for those who are still blind, so that they may see Jesus.
I love that Jesus saves, but Paul’s salvation was connected to the sending of Ananias. It’s such a picture of the church. Jesus does the work, but He uses us to partner with Him in this mission.
What was the prerequisite for Paul to be chosen? How does He choose you and I today? It’s sheer grace! I find hope in that. I am chosen not because I was choosable but because His love is