Wednesday, 27 July 2022
“And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight.” Acts 9:12
Ananias was told by the Lord to go to Straight Street, inquiring at the house of Judas for a Saul of Tarsus, noting that he would be praying. The Lord continues with His words now, saying, “And in a vision.”
The word translated as “vision” is the same word just used in verse 9:10 to describe the vision that Ananias is currently having. It is an interesting thought then that Ananias is having a vision explaining to him that another person has had a vision. If Ananias trusts his own senses, then he must trust what is conveyed in his vision, and therefore he must trust that the vision seen by Saul (Paul) was real as well. But Ananias has not yet laid his hands on him, despite the fact that Jesus says, “he has seen.”
It is an aorist verb. As such, it is an event that has occurred at a particular moment without regard to time, but Jesus is speaking of it as if it has occurred in a vision, meaning before the event actually takes place.
The vision which Saul had is now complete in Saul’s mind as stated by Jesus, and yet it has not yet actually occurred in the stream of time. That is evident from the continued words of the verse. It shows that Christ is transcendent over time, and He has the ability to call it back from the past or to project it from the future.
As this is the case now, it really doesn’t matter if the time is short, such as in a few hours, or if it spans millennia. It demonstrates that Christ is “above” time and thus can operate “outside of” time. As such, His appearance in Genesis 18 or Judges 13 is just as possible as it is within a short time between His appearance to Saul and then Ananias. And more, His knowledge of the future events referred to in Revelation are equally possible. Understanding this, His words continue, saying, “a man named Ananias.”
Jesus tells Ananias that Saul’s vision includes him and that by the time he arrives at Saul’s location, it will have been a past event. In this vision, it will be of Ananias “coming in and putting his hand on him.”
The verbs are aorist participles. It rightly says, “having come and having put his hand on him.” It is not known when Saul received the vision. For all we know, it could have happened at the same moment that Ananias had his. Or it could have been before it or as Ananias is on the way to the house. But by the time he arrives, Saul will have seen the event occur.
Because of this, it would then allow him to know with absolute certainty that what transpired was of the Lord and not of human effort. The Lord will be the Source and Power behind what happens, whereas Ananias will simply be the means by which it is carried out. The laying on of his hands will be the mode by which it occurs. Ananias is to do this to Paul “so that he might receive his sight.”
The translation is correct. The verb is subjunctive. It is a hypothetical event. The laying on of the hands is what will bring about the reality of what is, at this time, merely a possibility. Ananias is being informed that he is the one to carry out what is needed for Saul to have his vision restored.
One can assume that if Ananias didn’t do this, the vision Saul had would be proven false. In other words, if someone named Harry showed up and laid his hands on him and his sight was restored, it would not be a miracle of the Lord, but a healing by Harry because the Lord’s vision for Saul was that Ananias would do it. Everything about the miraculous would suddenly be called into question.
If Harry knew Saul’s medical condition, he could come in and show himself to be a great healer and that a naturalistic explanation is sufficient. Or he could claim to be a man of God by healing Saul and profit off of the situation personally. Everything must occur as is seen in the vision. As it will, then it demonstrates the Lord’s absolute knowledge of the matter and His sovereignty over time and the events that take place.
Life application: In Amos 9, it says when speaking of the people of Israel –
“’I will bring back the captives of My people Israel;
They shall build the waste cities and inhabit them;
They shall plant vineyards and drink wine from them;
They shall also make gardens and eat fruit from them.
15 I will plant them in their land,
And no longer shall they be pulled up
From the land I have given them,’
Says the Lord your God.” Amos 9:14,15
Either this is true, or it is not. As this has never taken place, because Israel has been uprooted in the past and is only now back in the land of Israel, then either it must continue to take place into the future, or the Bible is not the word of God.
Prophecy is a part of Scripture that either proves or disproves its veracity. If the prophecies of the Bible are not true, then the Bible is conveying a false message. As this is so, then we can look to the prophecies of the Bible that have been fulfilled, and we can then be confident that what is promised into the future will also be fulfilled. Essentially, God has placed His integrity on the line for us to check and see if what He says is true.
He has done this so that we can know. He has done this so that we should know. He has done this so that we are without excuse for not knowing.
Let us be confident in the word as it continues to unfold as prophesied within the stream of time. It has validated itself and it continues to do so to this day.
Lord God, thank You for the surety we possess because of the reliability of Your word. It proclaims the future, and then the events come to pass as You have spoken. As this is so, we can confidently continue to hold fast to the promises that lie yet ahead, knowing that they will occur. And those promises, because of Jesus our Lord, are great indeed! Hallelujah and Amen!