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A Hidden Reservoir of God’s Gifts: Ananias the Disciple

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Studying the bible is always good. For years, I have been studying the bible and I found it wonderful




The word reservoir comes from the French reservoir, which further derives from the old French reserver, meaning “to reserve”. Knowing this, it makes sense that the meaning evolved into a place where something is collected and stored. (

Reservoir is a place (natural or artificial) where a supply of something is collected, especially water and stored for use.

Three Ananias are mentioned in the book of the Acts of Apostles, two of them were believers while the last one was a High Priest. However, one out of the two mentioned as believers in the book missed his steps and he died unceremoniously while the second kept his head low, maintained his discipleship status after the first martyr’s death, Stephen the Evangelist.

Ananias as a name derived its origin from the Hebrew word “חנניהוּ חנניה”, Romanized form is chănanyâh chănanyâhû (phonetic spelling is khan-an-yaw', khan-an-yaw'-hoo), while its Greek form is “Ἀνανίας”, Romanized form is Ananias, pronounced as an-an-ee'-as, which means Jah has favored.


How he Got Saved Was Unknown

How this man got saved was not stated in the bible, but I think it is logical to assume that he would either be one of the 3oly Books ,000 or 5,000 people that got converted after the preaching of Apostle Peter at Jerusalem.

Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. (Act 2:41)

Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand. (Act 4:4)

After getting converted at Jerusalem he would have been attending fellowship with the brethren daily before the unfortunate happened and that was the death of Stephen. It was after the death of Stephen that the disciples got scattered for their lives, albeit before then they do not want to be scattered whereas Jesus has told them on the mount that they would from Jerusalem start preaching to other regions, but perhaps because of the unity and because none of the disciples including those who were being added lacked nothing they all stayed in Jerusalem until God allowed the enemies to have upper hand on Stephen and he was killed after his death fear gripped the hearts of all disciples and everyone started leaving the town of Jerusalem for their lives.

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (Act 1:8)

And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.

Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word. (Act 8:1-4)

However, as they left Jerusalem for other places, the sown seeds of the words of God in their hearts have germinated and they also kept on sowing the seeds wherever they got to, proclaiming their faith in Jesus Christ, bringing people to Jesus Christ.

Map of Damascus

He Maybe a Resident of Damascus Before the Pentecost

This perhaps may be what happened unto Ananias too, he left the town of Jerusalem alongside with others for Damascus and it may be that he was living in Damascus before Pentecost and had gone to Jerusalem to celebrate the Pentecost with many others and after celebrating the festival and seeing the hands of God, he stayed back in the town to learn more about the gospel, because as Prophet Moses rightly said of what he saw in the wilderness, that, “… I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. (Exo 3:3).

What happened in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost requires something like that, it requires that one turns aside to see more of the movements, whether it would stand the test of time or it would pack up like the previous ones.

Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space;

And said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men.

For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to nought.

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After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed.

And now I say unto you, refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought:

But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.

And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. (Act 34-40)

This man, Ananias may also have turned aside, wait a little while longer in Jerusalem to know what would become the outcome of the movement until he got caught up in the web, and couldn’t leave immediately until the unfortunate happened.

As the gospel was growing with people being multiplied daily when the unfortunate happened, everyone who abinitio did not want to leave the town, because they were enjoying the freshness of the gospel coming out of the mouths of the apostles to them had no other option other than leaving.



He Considers Himself Like a Newborn Babe

This man though has believed Jesus Christ and has been following his tenets as being shown unto them (him) by the senior apostles, but he was not renown among them.

And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. (Act 9:10)

Disciple in Greek is written as “μαθητής”, Romanized form is mathētēsm, pronounced as math-ay-tes') which means pupil, learner.

From the meaning of the word disciple in Greek it thence means that this man was learning the ways of the Lord after being saved. This should be expected of all because since he was not of the direct follower of Jesus Christ, it means that he would be learning the ways of the Lord from those who have shown them the way.

Just as pupils in classes and schools would be learning from their teacher so was this man. We may consider him a person still growing in faith, of course it is expected of all of us to be growing in faith for anyone who feels he has reached the peak in faith should be careful.

However, what I am driving at by saying he was growing in faith was what the writer of the book of Hebrews and Apostle Peter says in their books that as babes desire milk so must we desire the word of God.

As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: (1 Pe 2:2)

This man perhaps considers himself a baby in faith which he was because he cannot be compared with persons like John the beloved neither with Apostle Peter. Those people have passed through thick and thin with the Lord Jesus when he was alive, but this man hasn’t experienced such, thus it is logical, sensible to say that he is considers himself a baby in faith.

Now a man was painting a baby’s heart for us recently and says whatsoever anyone teaches a baby at their tender age that is what they would subscribe to. If a baby is being taught by her class teacher that 1+1=3, that is the notion that the baby would grow with. Now, when this baby gets home and his parents ask him what is the sum of 1+1, he would reply that it is 3 because that was what his teacher told him, and he has no reason to doubt the teacher for to him if he wasn’t qualified to teach him he wouldn’t have been put in that position neither would his parents have put him under his care. The child thus has no reason to doubt this teacher, thus he would openly be telling people what he has learnt but unknown to him that it was wrong.

This is the similitude of the position of Ananias that the bible is painting for us here that he was a disciple, a baby who is taken everything they are being given him raw, with little or no processing at all in his spiritual stomach.


His Response to God’s Call was Sweet

David Guzik in his commentary says, his response to God’s call was sweet, “here I am Lord” he says, in response to a sweet voice of God he heard in his vision.

And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. (Act 9:10)

Here I am Lord, could mean do to me as you wish oh Lord. Believers means of replying God would always be different to how unbelievers would reply God, as it happened in this story, how Saul replied God was different from how Ananias responded to God’s talk with him.

This response shows he was a pupil who is willing to do whatsoever his teacher directs him to do, not a recalcitrant pupil.


He Wasn’t a Stagnant Learner

He passed through the phases of learning rapidly such that he learnt and mastered means of God speaking to him, the means of how God talks to him. Children at their tender age would be learning those things from those they are interacting with.

That was what he did, he gave himself to learning how, the means, and other methodologies that are involved in God interacting with him, thus when he was called, he couldn’t miss the interaction and the voice.

No child would miss the person he or she has regularly been in relationship with. They cannot miss it because they have over the time learnt and mastered it. As believers of Jesus we also need to master how God interacts with us. It should be clear that how God relates with individual believers differ. Therefore, you must take time to know how God is relating with you, do not allow anything to stop you from knowing how.

David Guzik says that the way Ananias lived his life could be seen in how he discussed with God in the vision. “Lord, what do you want me to do?” The way we live our lives would be revealed in how we talk, it cannot be hidden. Intriguingly Saul also asked God the same question when he was talking with him that what does he want him to do.


He Waited for Jesus Signals Like Jesus

When Jesus Christ was alive, he told his disciples and others that he does nothing of his own accord but everything he does he did as he saw the father doing it or them.

Then answered Jesus and said unto them, verily, verily, I say unto you, the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. (Joh 5:19)

During the process of discussing with the Lord he waited for directives, he waited to hear what the Lord would want him to do about the man he was directing him to. During the process of waiting he heard in clear terms what he would do for the person for he had told him in the dream that the person has saw him lay his hands on him for miracles.

And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight. (Act 9:12)

David Guzik says in his commentary of this verse that he was given an instruction. When God calls us, he is ready to give us instructions on what we need to do and how to go about doing it, we are the ones who should be opened to his instruction as he speaks to us, as Ananias did. The details of what the man Saul was doing was revealed unto Ananias where he was… Saul received vision concerning him.

Laying on of hands

Laying on of hands

On the Received Instruction: Laying of Hands

The step to take to bring about the healing and the restoration of the man was told Ananias and the step was laying on of hands on Saul. Here are some of the significance of laying of hands as we can find in the scriptures.


(i) Sign of Love

The laying of hand is a sign of love from a disciple to someone they were initially afraid of, and because Saul has gone blind at this time, Ananias showed him through the laying of hands that he warmly embraced him with the love of Christ, his hand on him is full of warmth and love. You know, ladies love this most, when ladies and guys are in relationship, they enjoyed you loving arms around them, it is to them a sign of deep involvement.

Jacob blessing Joseph's sons

Jacob blessing Joseph's sons

(ii) Passing of Blessings

The laying of hands in Hebrew is a means of passing blessings unto people. Precept Austin says laying on of hands in ancient Israel has various uses: a sign of blessings (Gen 48:14-20), Jesus Christ when alive uses laying on of hands as a sign of his blessing, as he did for the little children who were brought to him to be prayed for (Mat 19:13-15; Mar 10:13-16; Luk 18:15-17)


(iii) For Healing

Through the laying of hands on him, he received the Holy Ghost and he was healed. He was healed spiritually and physically after the man laid his hand on him. It is always his desire to heal us spiritually and physically if we can come to him with all our intents and hearts.

And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.

And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. (Act 9:17-18)

Jesus Christ when alive uses laying on of hands when he was healing people, he also laid his hands on some of them (Mat. 9:18-19, 25; Mar 5:22-24; 6:5; Luk 4:40)

They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. (Mar 16:18)


(iv) Sign of Consecration

It’s a sign of identification for consecrating Aaron and his sons as priests (Exo 29:10-21; Lev 8:14, 18), used on the day of atonement when the high priest places his hand on live goats and make confessions over it before releasing the scapegoat into the wilderness. (Lev 16:21), individual Israeli also uses this during the fellowship and sin offering when they lay their hands on the heads of the sacrificial animals (Lev 3:1-2, 6-8, 12-13 & 4:27-29, 32-33), the leaders of the people of Israel also place their hands on the sin offering for the community (Lev 4:13-15), it is also a sign of consecration to the ministry (Num 8:10, 12-14), sign of commissioning as it happens in the case of Joshua (Deu 34:9), when a blasphemer is to be executed, it is also used before he would be stoned (Lev. 24:13-14).

During the Apostles’ days, laying on of hands continued as a sign of consecration to office and a ministry (Act 6:1-5; 13:3),


(v) Used During Ordination

It is involved in ordination of people into ministry. Apostle Paul says by the laying of hands he has commissioned one of his spiritual sons into the ministry. (1 Ti 4:14; 2 Ti 1:6)

Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. (1 Ti 4:14)

Because he knows the importance of laying of hands, he counseled his spiritual son that he shouldn’t be hasty in laying on of hands on people.

Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure.” (1 Ti 5:22)

This equally applies to us today that we shouldn’t be hasty in laying hands on people either for commissioning or for other purposes because there are some who are wolves in sheep clothing.


(vi) As a Sign of Unity

It could be a sign of unity with other brethren. It is because of unity between brethren that Apostles could be sent to Samaria to go and pray for the people there to receive Holy Ghost.

And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money (Act 8:18)

The apostles were unified when they were praying with people in Samaria, and this they demonstrated by their laying on of hands on the people to receive Holy Ghost and it happened as it was in their hearts, because God through their hands wrought his wonders.

Simon here saw that the apostles means of ministration was the same, it is after they lay hands on people that spontaneous actions follow, and thus he coveted this but in an ungodly manner.

This shows that the apostles were unified in their means of ministrations.

While ministering for believers, leaders could tell others to lay hands on them as sign that they are in accord. To make appreciable impact in the world, we also need to be in unity as believers.


(vii) Bestowal of Holy Spirit

Could be used in the bestowal of the Holy Spirit, on the people who have not received the Holy Ghost after baptism.

I remembered a devout believer who has been following me around in the ministry, and he hasn’t received Holy Spirit despite being with me, he approached me and asked me to pray for him so that he also benefits from what we are benefiting receiving the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongue, and as I prayed for him the evidence of speaking in tongue that he has for years been seeking for manifested in his life.

Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. (Act 8:17)

Ananias praying for Saul in Judas' house

Ananias praying for Saul in Judas' house

Relatively Unknown by Others

Ananias wasn’t a renowned person among the disciples during their days, yet God sees him and decides to use him for this crucial purpose because he has weighed him and has known the kind of person he was. Can God use us for his crucial purpose on earth?


Why Was Unknown Person Used?

We shall recall that in the precious chapter, after Evangelist Philip’s ministration to the people in Samaria and they got converted when the message got to the apostles in Jerusalem, they had to send Peter and John to them to pray with them.

Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: (Act 8:14)

This could have happened in this case, but God decided otherwise and used someone who was unknown to the people to do his work. Every believer is valuable in the hand of God if that believer maintains himself in faith.

God could have done the healing and other things by himself, but he decided to use Ananias because he loves to use men to accomplish his purpose on earth, he uses man to show others that they are not the only one in the world doing the will of God, (1 Ki 19) he uses man to show people that there people they could lean on, they could run to during trials and tribulations, he uses man to show people that they are people of like passion like ourselves, he uses man to prove some people wrong, he uses man so that they would put people through his ways, for it is not always that angels would be coming to put people through.

David Guzik says, he uses Ananias because assuming he used an Apostle or a prominent person among the disciples to minister to Paul, people may say he received his gospel from man instead of Jesus and would want to be manipulating him and be threatening him. Therefore, you who are considering yourself an ordinary person in faith, know that God knows and sees you and have assignment for you too like he did for Ananias what you only need to do is continuing in the will of God.


Has Different Gifts

Because he was unknown and perhaps because he was naïve believer, a student in faith, other brethren hardly knew that he possesses the gift of healing and miracles.

But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;

To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. (1 Co 12:7-11)

Online Wikipedia says, some churches leaders believed the man was a prophet and they call him a prophet. Nothing could be farther from the truth about this because he received everything into specifications about Saul. Let us see those things he received about him.


(a) He Was Praying

He was told that the man, Saul, was praying and he has nothing to be afraid of in going to deliver the God sent message to him.

And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, (Act 9:11)

Saul hasn’t prayed before this time, the kind of prayer the Jews prayed is recitational, but now, he prays from his heart to his Lord and God and not only that he prays in the name of Jesus Christ which he never did before, for he detests the name Jesus, for it was because of his detesting the name that he could travel 130 miles to get people arrested.

MacArthur comments that prayer is the natural response of a trusting heart to God. Those who are really changed by Jesus Christ find themselves lost in the wonder and joy of communion with him. Prayer is as natural for Christians as breathing.


(b) Saw Him (Ananias) in His Vision

The kind of vision Holy God was given the new convert was being told Ananias.

And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight. (Act 9:12)


(c) Chosen Vessel for Me

It would interest us to know that the calling on Saul wasn’t clear to him first, or better put he was not given the information before Ananias, sometimes the cal