Unstoppable! 'Awakening Paul to Jesus' Call on His Life' — Acts 22:14-16

Saturday, October 23, 2021

[As Paul recounted his conversion to Jesus as Messiah and Lord, he shared these words:] "Then [Ananias] told me, 'The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and hear him speak. For you are to be his witness, telling everyone what you have seen and heard. What are you waiting for? Get up and be baptized. Have your sins washed away by calling on the name of the Lord.'"

— Acts 22:14-16 NLT

Key Thought

Ananias helped Paul understand that his passion for honoring God, the LORD,* meant being the chosen witness for Jesus, "the Righteous One." Paul was to share what he had seen and heard in his conversion experience on the road to Damascus and from Ananias, which is what he had done for years and now was doing with the mob in Jerusalem. Ananias told Paul to be baptized to have his sins washed away. Today, many don't realize that Jews baptized themselves in special purification ceremonies, while only Gentiles were baptized by someone else when they converted to Judaism. Being baptized by someone else (Acts 9:18) was a huge challenge for someone with Paul's background as a devoted rabbi and follower of the LORD God. To recognize himself as a sinner who needed adoption into God's family like a Gentile could be adopted into Judaism was a tall order, one to which Paul obediently submitted himself. Paul would later connect baptism to the three key events in Jesus' life that we must believe to be saved — Jesus' death for our sins, his burial, and his resurrection.** The Lord Jesus used Ananias to lead Paul to faith and awaken God's call to share to the world that Jesus is Lord and Messiah. Ananias is our reminder that we can open the door of faith for others to do amazing things for Jesus.

* LORD in all capital letters is frequently used to refer to God's specific covenant name, the "I AM" of Exodus 3:13-15. The Hebrew is transliterated as YHWH and often pronounced YAHWEH. Paul, as a Christian and like anyone anchored in biblical faith, considered the LORD as Father, Son, and Spirit to be "the living and true God" we know from the Scriptures (1 Thessalonians 1:9).
** See our Related Scripture Readings for Luke's emphasis on baptism being tied to the forgiveness of sins in Luke-Acts (first set of readings) and for Paul's connection of the core Good News to baptism in his letters (second set of readings).

Today's Prayer

Father, I want my life to bless others, lead them to Jesus as Lord, and awaken them to your call in their lives. Please open my eyes to see those who are searching for Jesus, open my heart to love them, and open my mouth to share the right things to bless them. In Jesus' name, I ask for this grace. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Luke 3:3; Acts 2:38, 8:12-13, 10:47-48, 16:15, 33, 22:16
  • 1 Corinthians 15:1-7; Romans 6:3-7, Colossians 2:12, 3:1-4

Comments

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Illustration

Illustration of Acts 22:14-16 NLT — [As Paul recounted his conversion to Jesus as Messiah and Lord, he shared these words:] "Then [Ananias] told me, 'The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and hear him speak. For you are to be his witness, telling everyone what you have seen and heard. What are you waiting for? Get up and be baptized. Have your sins washed away by calling on the name of the Lord.'"

About This Devotional

Unstoppable! is a one-year devotional guide through the book of Acts. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage, a reflection and a prayer. The reflection opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges one to live for Jesus.

Unstoppable! is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.