Reaching to a (Previous) Enemy

In Acts 9 we see Saul going out to continue persecuting Christians, intending to go out expressly to bring them back bound. On the way Jesus Himself stops Saul, blinding him in the process. The men with Saul help him continue on to Damascus, then Saul doesn’t eat for three days.

About then the Lord tells a Christian man named Ananias to go see Saul because Saul has been praying, and has seen in a vision that Ananias is going to come and his sight will be restored. By this point Saul isn’t an enemy anymore, but Ananias doesn’t know that. Understandably, Ananias seems to ask God if He’s sure He means that Saul, the actual enemy of Christians. God replies He does in fact mean that Saul, and that He has chosen him for a special and specific purpose.

So in faith Ananias goes to visit Saul. As Ananias puts his hands on Saul, Ananias says that Jesus sent him. Saul receives his sight and since he was saved by this point, he went and got baptized.

After this Saul starts spending time with the Christians in Damascus. What a surprise that must have been for them! The very man they feared was now on their side. Jesus had a hold of him, and now he was preaching about Jesus in the synagogues!

But there were still those who wanted the Christians gone, and now that Saul was on that side they were going to get rid of him. Hearing of this, Saul’s new friends helped him escape town in a basket let down over the city wall. He then headed back to Jerusalem, but the Christians there were afraid of him and wouldn’t reach out to him, because they didn’t believe he was now a Christian. But a man called Barnabas reached out to Saul, befriending him and bringing him to everyone else, letting them know Saul really was a changed man. From then on, Saul continued to zealously take off with Jesus!

It’s important to reach out to people with Jesus, even if they happen to be your enemies, and especially if God tells you to. You may find these people aren’t your enemies anymore. God is doing His work, and He calls us to do our work with Him. Be an Ananias and a Barnabas.


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