Acts 9:10

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Monday, 25 July 2022

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.”
Acts 9:10

Note: You can listen to today’s commentary courtesy of our friends at “Bible in Ten” podcast. (Click Here to listen)

You can also read this commentary, with music, courtesy of our friends at “Discern the Bible” on YouTube. (Click Here to listen), or at Rumble (Click Here to listen).

The previous verse noted that Paul was without sight for three days and that he neither ate nor drank. It is during this time that the next words occur, saying, “Now there was a certain disciple.”

It is the same word, mathétés, used three times in Acts 6 (verses 1, 2, and 7), and then again in Acts 9:1 when referring to the disciples of Jesus. It signifies a learner. In this case, it is a follower of Christ who learns the doctrines laid out in Scripture and what is required to conduct oneself rightly. He is said to be “at Damascus.”

Rather, it says “in Damascus.” It is where he is located, and he was one of the people who would have been targeted by Paul once he arrived and started rounding up the believers. Of him, it says he is “named Ananias.”

It is the Greek transliteration from Khananyah (Hananyah), or “Yah is Gracious.” It is not an uncommon name, and it is seen about 30 times in the Old Testament. In the New Testament it is the name of the husband of Sapphira in Acts 5 and also one of the high priests seen in Acts 23:2 and 24:1. In Acts 22, this man is called a “devout man” using a term that signifies God-fearing or, literally, “taking hold of what is good.” Of him, it next says, “and to him the Lord said in a vision, ‘Ananias.’”

In the coming verses, it is fully apparent that this is the Lord Jesus who is addressing him. He is called personally in order to direct him. This is certainly intended to be used as a validation of the one who the Lord will commission. In other words, Ananias has been selected for the specific purpose of being a reliable testimony to the Lord’s having chosen Saul (Paul) for his apostolic ministry.

  • Ananias is a resident of Damascus, the city targeted by Paul.
  • Ananias is a disciple of Jesus, the specific group targeted by Paul.
  • Ananias is a devout man, meaning his testimony is known to be reliable.
  • Ananias is not an apostle. As such, this fact will add unique credence to Paul’s ministry. Paul’s apostolic doctrine came not from one of the apostles (Galatians 1:17), but directly from the Lord. Further, his calling is from the Lord, but the message is transmitted by a regular disciple.

Because of these things, Ananias’ testimony will be all the more credible and readily accepted by those who hear from him of what will now transpire. In response to the Lord’s call, it next says, “And he said, ‘Here I am, Lord.’”

This is the standard answer of many people called by the Lord in the Old Testament. It is a way of saying, “I am present and at your disposal.” With that noted, the Lord’s directions to him will be forthcoming.

Life application: Everything about Paul’s selection and conversion is marked off as a unique occurrence. In this, he is a part of, but separated from, the other apostles. As such, his commission is a unique one that will carry the already established church through the next two millennia (so far) as the Gentiles take the lead role in spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world. Because of this, a few points should be considered.

  • The church is already established based on the introduction of the New Covenant in Christ’s blood.
  • Gentile inclusion has already been established prior to Saul’s (Paul’s) recorded conversion (Acts 8).
  • Gentile inclusion will continue to occur prior to the focus of Acts being on Paul (Acts 10).
  • The gospel that Paul proclaims is the same gospel as the other apostles proclaim (1 Corinthians 15:11).
  • Paul’s ministry was not only to the Gentiles, but always to the Jew first (Acts 9:20, 13:14, 14:1, 17:1, 17:10, 18:4, 18:19, 19:8, 28:17, etc.). Therefore,
  • Paul’s ministry is not a new ministry to establish the church. Rather, it is a ministry established to continue the expansion of the church in sharing the gospel, after the (known to the Lord) rejection of it by Israel, with the Gentiles.

These points are especially highlighted by the fact that Gentiles are included in the chapter prior to and directly after Paul’s conversion in Acts 9. They are brought into the church by Jews at the direction of Jesus personally.

As this is so, it demonstrates that those who proclaim the doctrine of hyperdispensationalism are teaching a false and heretical doctrine that destroys the purpose and intent of the Lord’s personal workings in Acts to establish and continue His church. Hyperdispensationalism teaches a false gospel by proclaiming two separate gospels, one for the Jew and one for the Gentile. This is, according to Paul in Galatians 1, anathema.

Heavenly Father, may we carefully consider what Acts is telling us and properly evaluate what is going on there. Help us to consider it thoughtfully because many false teachers have come to proclaim heretical teachings based on a misapplication of what is taught out of the book. So, Lord, guide us carefully through this foundational part of Your precious word. Amen.