Day 26: Reorienting Opposition
Quoted from Acts 9 in the NIV
10 In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!”
“Yes, Lord,” he answered.
11 The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. 12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”
13 “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem.14 And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”
15 But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”
17 Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, 19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength.Ananias is very clear. He knows Saul is not an ally. Nevertheless, when Jesus tells him to go to Saul and remove Saul’s blindness, he complies.Willimon wants us to remember that, “While there is much that Luke [the author of Acts] does not tell us, Luke leaves no doubt that we are reading the story of an enemy.” Then Willimon asks, “What happens to the enemies of the church?” Because the enemy of the church, does not just persecute Jesus, “To persecute a follower of the Master [Jesus] is to persecute the Master. ‘. . . he who rejects you, rejects me’” (Luke 10:16).So the apostles are learning very quickly that there is an enemy—and that enemy of Jesus will persecute them as well as Jesus. BUT, and this is a huge BUT, they are now discovering how Jesus wants them to treat that enemy and it is contrary to every common reaction. So I ask us to consider on this 26th day after Easter, “What do you think Jesus wants to happen to the enemies of the church?”