"A man named Ananias came to see me. He was a devout observer of the law and highly respected by all the Jews living there. He stood beside me and said, 'Brother Saul, receive your sight!' And at that very moment I was able to see him."
Thoughts for Today:My seven year old daughter Amanda has been on this honesty kick lately. She somehow has gotten it in her head that everything she says must be the complete and absolute truth. While honesty is a worthy objective, you can only imagine how complicated it can become at times for a child. For example, when I asked Amanda, "Did you have a good time making pottery with Natalie (her older sister)?" She didn't answer for five minutes as she wrestled with the truthful answer. Impatiently I asked her, "It's not that hard; either you did or didn't. Which is it?" Afterwards we must have talked about the right way to answer the question for thirty minutes. She had no idea how to "honestly" answer the question.
A few weeks later I accompanied my wife to the hair salon for a new cut and style. Following her appointment we picked up Amanda at school (I stayed in the car to finish a phone call). When they climbed in the car, the first thing Sherry said to me was, "Amanda doesn't like my new hairstyle." I looked back to the rear seat and recognized Amanda's "deer in the headlight" look, the one that says, "Oh no, I'm in really big trouble."
I looked encouragingly into Amanda's big blue eyes, silently nodded yes to her, and said, "Amanda, doesn't Mommy look pretty?" She looked back at me on the verge of tears, resolutely shook her head, and said "No." My wife and I couldn't help ourselves -- we both burst out laughing!
I suggested that Amanda think of at least one good thing she could say about her Mom's hair. After thinking about it for several minutes she cheerily offered, "Mommy, your hair looks really clean!"
In our passage today, Paul is leaving out some important information as well regarding Ananias. Certainly Ananias was a well respected and devout Jew, but he was also a born again Christian. How do you think the audience would have reacted had Paul included this tidbit of information? Did Paul make a moral mistake by not being completely honest in his presentation of the events? Or would that information have created needless controversy when the story was really about Jesus? What would you have done?
Questions to Ponder:As my daughter Amanda is finding out, telling the truth is not always flat ground. It can be rocky and confusing at times. Most of us who are adults have learned this lesson, so we've become accustomed to telling people what they want to hear rather than what we believe. When it comes to a new hairstyle it's not very important in the scheme of things, however as it relates to Jesus it is a matter of life and death. Have you compromised the message of Jesus to make it more pleasant or acceptable? What have you left out? Is it an important omission?