Whilst Saul is without sight a disciple at Damascus named Ananias receives a vision of the Lord Jesus. Ananias is given this to do:
“Get up and go to the street called ‘Straight,’ and at Judas’ house look for a man from Tarsus named Saul. For he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and place his hands on him so that he may see again.”
(Acts 9.11-12, NET)
Ananias is sent to place his hands on Saul so that he may see again. Quite understandably Ananias is nervous: “Lord, I have heard from many about this man…“. Saul’s reputation certainly preceded him and Ananias is apprehensive about seeking him out. The Lord’s response is both prophetic and chilling in equal measure:
“Go, because this man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before Gentiles and kings and the people of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.”
(Acts 9.15-16, NET)
Saul, we read, was chosen to carry the name of Jesus before Gentiles and kings and the people of Israel. The same Saul that was breathing threats and murder against the disciples was now going to take the very same message and proclaim it to all who hear him. The grace of God surely knows no bounds: here is Saul, spearheading the persecution of this new Way of living transformed and chosen to spearhead its expansion into new territories and people groups.
Along with the prophetic comes the serious: “I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name“. Saul would not have an easy ride as the herald of the Good News to the Gentiles (far from it) and, amazingly, Ananias knew all of this before Saul himself did.
After finding him, laying hands on him, and praying for him, something like scales fell from [Saul’s] eyes, and he regained his sight. He rises, is baptised, and his being born again is complete, both physically and spiritually. Saul is now the new creation that God wants Him to be, the new creation that would powerfully proclaim the Good News before Gentiles and kings and the people of Israel.