Acts 9:11-15
Acts 9:11 (KJB)
And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,
Here the Lord is commanding Ananias to go to the street called Straight, which is still a very important street in Damascus today. He was to go to the house of Judas and since Ananias would have been well-known in the Jewish community, he would have instantly known which house to go to. He was to find Saul of Tarsus who would have been staying at that house. Saul was in a steady time of prayer, probably from the time he was brought to the house of Judas.
Acts 9:12 (KJB)
And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.
Ananias was chosen to come to Saul because God had given Saul a vision that a man named Ananias was to come to him and lay his hand on his eyes and he would receive his sight back. None of the other Apostles like Peter and John were sent for. Ananias was a godly believer and God used him to come to Saul. In the book of Acts, you will notice that there are many Christians, who were not Apostles, that the Lord used in many different spiritual situations. This was also done because no one could say that Saul received his commission from another Apostle. He received his commission directly from the Lord Jesus Christ in Heaven which qualified him to be an Apostle.
Acts 9:13 (KJB)
Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem:
Ananias was not being rebellious here but was just wondering about the character of the man which Jesus wanted him to see. It must have been well-known among the Christians throughout the entire region that Saul of Tarsus desired to have all Christians killed or bound and brought to Jerusalem. It is interesting how initially Ananias was willing to respond to the Lordís command until he heard it was Saul of Tarsus. This verse brings a principle to light. We have all known people in our lives who were people of bad reputation and maybe thought they were beyond saving. There is the playground bully, the person at work who is overwhelming, or a nasty neighbor or whatever. If any of these become saved, are we a little reluctant to believe that God has reached down and saved them? What if that person comes to you and asks about the Christian life and how do they start to live it? Would we be like Ananias and be ready at first and then maybe back off a little when we know who we are to minister to? No matter how bad a person is, if they become truly saved, they become your brother or sister and we must accept them without reservation.
Acts 9:14 (KJB)
And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.
Ananias must have known someone who resided in Jerusalem who came back and told him that Saul of Tarsus was on his way to Damascus with the authority of the office of the High Priest backing him up. He already knew, and probably all the other Christians knew too about the mission of Saul. Isnít it interesting how we think we are telling God something, as if He does not already know about the situation. Jesus knew fully well the mission of Saul and He also knew that He put an end to it on the road to Damascus. Wherever God sends us to minister, He will always go before us. (Deu 31:8 KJV) And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.
Acts 9:15 (KJB)
But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
Chosen - Elect
The Lord did not rebuke Ananias for bringing up these things but the response of Jesus is very interesting. Ananias was bringing up to the Lord all the sins which Saul had committed against the Christians plus his intent to do more harm. If you notice the response of Jesus was fully void of any mention of the sins of Saul and that is because Saulís sins were removed by Calvary and his sins were no longer an issue with the Lord. (Col 2:13-14 KJV) And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; {14} Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; As with every believer, the Lord had blotted out all Saulís sins and removed them completely from him so that he was now sinless before the Lord. I am not speaking of sinless perfection in the flesh but only in the soul. (Heb 10:17 KJV) And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Not only does Calvary remove all our sins, but God states that He will remember them no more. So whatever Saul did to the church was completely forgiven and forgotten. This is why Jesus tells Ananias that Saul is an elect vessel of the Lord with a tremendous ministry ahead of him. He is going to bear witness of Christ to the Gentiles, which he did as we have many books written to Greek churches. Then he was to witness to kings and he appeared before King Agrippa. Then he was also to bring the name of Jesus before the children of Israel, which he did not do only in the streets but in their synagogues and before the High Priest. Saul was a highly educated Pharisee and had much knowledge of the Hebrew Scriptures and all the feasts which would aid him in his presentations of the Gospel.