Mephibosheth was the son of Jonathan and grandson of Saul. And after their deaths, in an act of kindness, King David had restored their property to the handicapped Mephibosheth. This deal included Ziba, who had once been a servant in Saul’s household. Within verses 1-4, Ziba cleverly manages to protect his own interests and accuse Mephibosheth of treachery and disloyalty against King David…all the while spreading malice gossip and lies. Sadly, King David took Ziba at his word and did not check it out first for authenticity before hastily responding. He reacted rather than acting in a responsible way…and thus was easily swayed by deception and drama.
The Believers in Damascus had heard about Saul and his murderous threats against them. Ananias also knew Saul had traveled there with the authority from the Chief Priests to arrest them all. So you can imagine that Ananias had many excuses as to why he shouldn’t go and lay hands on this man…but God said, “Go!” And Ananias went. But somewhere between his house and the house where Saul was staying Ananias had a major heart adjustment. For when he greeted Saul, he called him Brother Saul. Brother meaning Saul had been accepted into the community of brothers and sisters in the Lord.
This is what the Lord said to Saul, (later Paul) on that hot and dusty Damascus road. When we are born again, we have a glimpse of what the Lord has in store for us…visions of the work He wants to accomplish through us. But suddenly fear and doubt take over, for the visions are so large and we feel so small and inadequate. That’s when we need to take a look at this Scripture again, for the Lord says that He was with Paul not only then, but would be into the future… revealing to him more as Paul obediently moved forward. So much, that later in his ministry, Paul proclaimed in Philippians 4:13, “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” Please remember this, you too can do all things through Him that gives you strength.
In this verse the Apostle Paul, (then called Saul) was describing his conversion on the road to Damascus. The Lord’s commission to Paul then was simple…Go, uncover the truth, and open blinded eyes. The Lord commissioned him as a servant, (a bringer of light and confirmation) and a witness, (a minister of the Word of Christ) to both Jew and Gentile. But if we think about it, as Believers, this commission applies to us also. We are all called to tell others about the Good News of Jesus. The easiest way to do that is to share your testimony…your personal story of how Jesus came into your life and how now your life has been changed forever by Him.
When Saul got up off the ground on the road to Damascus he was blind, and he remained that way for three days – but on the third day…(remind you of something else?)… he received his sight. It says that flakes of opaque skin fell from his eyes after Ananias prayed for him… And when Saul opened his eyes – he saw, both physically and spiritually, Jesus for the first time.
The prophet Samuel had anointed Saul to be King, but in Saul’s eyes he was anything but King material. Low self-esteem can cause many of us to lose sight of the greatness and potential that God Himself has placed in us. But Samuel perceived the hidden treasure in Saul’s heart, because God had allowed Samuel to see Saul through His eyes. Samuel nurtured and encouraged this secret treasure by giving Saul many details of his encounter with the company of prophets, culminating with the most important detail…then the Spirit of God will anoint,empower, and change you from the inside out Saul.
In the case of Barnabas and Saul, God’s calling was to preach the gospel…in your case it may be something entirely different…but the correlation is the same in that the calling comes first, then the setting apart. And depending on a myriad of things, the timing between one and the other can be short or long. Sometimes the Holy Spirit will place a calling on our heart and immediately will spring us into action…while other times, there is a long period of equipping and preparation on our part before He says, “Yes, the time is now.” It’s during that long wait that we tend to question our calling…but regardless of how long it has been, know that the Lord has not forgotten…He’s still at work, perfecting you, until the time when He will separate you for the work He’s called you to.