Friday, April 17. Acts 9:1-19.
You’ve probably seen this picture before. What do you see when you look at it? Do you see a young woman or an old woman? Psychologists have been using this picture since the 1930s to describe how the viewer’s perspective shapes what we see first.
What eyes do you use when you view people? Each one of us could probably answer that question differently. We all have prejudices of one kind or another. Some of us see through the lens of race. This color is better than that color. Some of us see through the lens of popularity. This clique is better than that clique. Some of us see through the lens of intelligence. People with high ACT scores are better/worse than people who don’t even want to take the ACT.
You get the idea.
Our story today demonstrates how following Jesus requires a radical reboot of our lenses. This happens in both characters. Saul was a young up-and-coming Jewish religious leader who viewed followers of Jesus (the Way) as trouble-makers and enemies of the state. Ananias was a follower of Jesus who viewed Saul as evil and dangerous.
God confronted both of them and caused them to see with new eyes. Saul met Jesus face-to-face and became physically blind for a while. His reboot was harsh. Ananias heard the voice of God and was challenged to step outside his fear and see Saul as a vulnerable human being, just like him.
When these two men finally came together, the Holy Spirit fell upon them in a new way. Suddenly two people who, the day before, were violent enemies, were now bonded together in the unity of peace. This is the Kingdom of Heaven of which Jesus taught us.
What kind of reboot do your eyes need today?