And has seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.
Behold, he prayeth! "Behold!" The Church, the world, invited to look on the sight. The enemy, the Pharisee, the warrior, behold his hands clasped in prayer, countenance bathed in tears, voice uttering petitions. Look into that house of Judas; it might have been filled with mourning; it is the scene of a spiritual victory. We can look back and look forward; what he was, what he will be. Great mercy in the blinding stroke, shutting him up in his own thoughts. His cry was, "What wilt thou have me to do?" Gracious answer to the prayer. Contrast between the prayers which Saul of Tarsus had previously offered, and that worthy prayer of penitence and faith. Every event the summing up of the past and prophecy of the future, like a seed which represents former and following harvests. Epochs in spiritual history which face both ways. A representative fact; "Behold it!" "he prayeth."
I. A GREAT SPIRITUAL CHANGE.
1. In the mind. Thoughts of Jesus. Acceptance of Messiahship. Overthrow of legalism. Satisfaction of understanding in the Divine authority manifested. Exaltation of Israel. We must be changed in our thoughts. "What think ye of Christ?"
2. In the heart. The persecutor penetrated with the feeling of Divine love. The perverse will, kicking against conscience, against the reproach which like a goad was left by the remembrance of Stephen's death. Personal sense of sin the root of a true conversion. "I am the man."
3. In the conduct. Obedience to the heavenly vision. Tractable as a child; led by the Spirit. The prayer recounts that his face was turned towards the new way. Christianity not a mere change of views or sentiments, but a proclaimed rule of life. Walk in the way. Obedience.
II. AN EPOCH IN SPIRITUAL HISTORY. Little could Saul foresee his own future, yet that Peniel was the introduction of a prince of God to his kingdom. What a step from the chamber in Judas's house at Damascus to Rome's imperial palace!
1. Prayer the preparation for activity. Jesus in the mountain solitude. All great spiritual heroes before they have gone down into the battle-field.
2. Prayer the lifting up of the fallen. Peace with God. Reopened eyes. A blotted-out past. The goads of conscience exchanged for the light of a new life, the message of a reconciled Father, the commission of the heavenly King to his chosen ambassadors.
3. Prayer the pledge of fellowship. He prayeth; go and pray with him. Private prayer and public prayer closely connected together. Religion is not a secret thing. "Behold!" We should take knowledge of the state of souls around us. Those that feel prompted to secret prayer should welcome the visit of the Christian brother, and the appeal to take the Name of Christ upon them, and the place which is appointed us both in the fellowship and work of the Church. - R.
Parallel VersesKJV: And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.