At one stage during my career I was a company representative and as I visited many different companies it was said ‘The man from The Age (a major daily Newspaper) is here, I was carrying their name, I represented them. This memory came to mind as we read Acts Ch. 9 this morning and the comment of a man named Ananias made in asking questions because of a vision he had from the Lord.
Saul the Pharisee had been led blind into Damascus having been struck blind because “suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him” [v.3] and he heard the voice of Jesus. For 3 days he is blind in Damascus “and neither ate nor drank” [v.9] Then “a disciple at Damascus named Ananias … the Lord said to him in a vision, ‘Ananias.’ … ‘Rise and go … look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold he is praying and he has seen a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay hands on him so that he may regain his sight” [v.10-12].
Ananias is most concerned about this and says, “Lord I have heard from many about this man and how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.” [v.13,14]. The Lord responds by telling him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel” [v.15]
Paul (as he would now be known) was to represent Christ and proclaim his name. He later wrote many letters to those to whom he proclaimed Christ’s name and who, like himself, took on the name of Christ, saying, “Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourself, that Jesus Christ is in you” [2 Corinthians 13 v.5] He also wrote, “You are not your own, for you were bought with a price” [1 Cor. 6 v19,20]
Total commitment is required of those who carry the name of Christ and represent him.
So Ananias laid his hands on him, “and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptised; and taking food, was strengthened.” [Acts 9 v.18,19] So those who make the commitment to “carry his name’ begin by being baptised, and how vital it is to know the responsibility that this leads to – to represent Christ for the rest of your life.
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