Don’t forget Andrew.
DECEMBER 28, 2021
Don’t forget Andrew. Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
This is Key Life with our host, author and seminary professor Steve Brown. He’s nobody’s guru. He’s just one beggar telling other beggars where he found bread. If you’re hungry for God, the real God behind all the lies, you’ve come to the right place.
Thank you Matthew. We’re looking at the first 19 verses of the ninth chapter of Acts. And we’re talking about minor characters who were never minor. And I introduced the subject yesterday as we looked at the conversion of the apostle Paul. I suppose, preacher that I am, we should have spent a lot more time on that conversion. Listen, there’s nothing more to be said, man. Paul was a pain, a persecutor, a horrible sinner and he remained one throughout the rest of his life. I didn’t that, Paul said it.
The good I want to do, I don’t do.
He said to the Romans.
And the evil I
and he’s using the present, by the way
And the evil that I don’t want to do, that’s what I do. Oh, wretched man that I am, who will deliver me from this body of death.
He said in one of his letters, it’s a saying worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. And I was, no, he doesn’t say that, I am the chief of sinners. And so, Paul was a sinner. And, as you read, he was on his way to do his dirty deeds. And God struck him down, man. I’ll tell you, I would rather be brought to Christ in a more gentle way and made him blind. And there’s nothing to be said about that, I mean, it just is, you see an event that changed all of history because God whacked Saul, that’s what he was called in those days, up the side of the head, knocked him off his camel, into the dirt and made him blind. Now, if that didn’t bring you to Jesus, man, you’re just not elect. If that doesn’t cause you to think and repent and become somebody different and get baptized, which is what happened to Paul, there’s something wrong with you. So, I’m not spending much time on that. You know what I’m going to spend time on? I’m going to talk about Ananias. And you say, wait, wait, wait, why are you going to talk about him? This is about Paul. Yeah, it is. But it’s also about Ananias. You know, as you look through the Bible, history won’t be the same because of Moses. Jeremiah and Isaiah and Mary and Peter and Paul and Augustin.. And when you get into church history, Augustin and Aquinas and Luther and Calvin and Wesley because they lived, the course of history has been changed. But the fact of the matter is that if it weren’t for the minor characters of history, you would never have heard their names. We all know about Peter and his confession and the rock upon which Jesus built his church, Peter was something else, man, he’s mentioned everywhere. Andrew, not so much. Andrew was his brother. In fact, it always says in the gospels, when they’re referring to Andrew, they have to put a parenthetical statement after it, Andrew, the brother of Peter, but do you know who took Peter to Jesus? It was Andrew and he’s kind of a metaphor for minor characters throughout history and certainly in the Bible. Calvin is a great man, but there are hundreds of faithful, Bible-believing, strong Christian men and women who lived in Geneva. And you don’t even know their names, but if it weren’t for them, you never would’ve heard of Calvin. Wesley, what about the leaders of the small class meetings where Wesley went and they read the introduction by Luther to the book of Romans. And he writes in his diary, my heart was strangely warmed. Do you know who taught that Bible study? Do you know the names of the people there who surrounded Wesley and made a difference in his life? Those are minor characters and they are important. Let me tell you a name. The name is Clyde Taylor, and he was a Sunday school teacher. And you will never hear his name again, and you’ve never heard it before. Not this particular Clyde Taylor, but he was my Sunday school teacher and he was faithful in teaching a class of boys. You know what came out of that class, multiple pastors and missionaries, and many men of Christian character standing for Christ in this city where I was born. He stood in the gap and you didn’t know his name until I told you his name. One of the great things about the Bible is that God hasn’t forgotten the minor characters who stood in the gap. It is God saying, look, I don’t want you to ever forget that it isn’t the spiritual giants that make things go, it’s the others who care. It’s the others who stand in the gap. It’s the others who were faithful. I want you to remember that, God is saying that your role is important and because you lived and are faithful, things will never be the same. And so, we’re looking at Ananias. And we’re going to see some things about him that are quite interesting in this text. And so, let’s without chit-chat, let’s check it out. First, I want you to note that he illustrates for us what it means to be a Christian and to be human. Look at the 13th verse.
But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man,
he’s referring Saul.
how much evil he has done to the saints at Jerusalem.
And you want me to go see him? Are you crazy? Well, that’s not in the text, but that was how he prayed. He was scared spit less. It is said, Michel Ney, Napoleon’s sidekick would look at his knees before they would go into battle. And his knees would be shaking. And Michel Ney would say, shaking are you, well, you would shake off a whole lot more, if you knew where I’m going to take you in the next half hour. It is said that one time, when a field marshal found an officer, punishing a French corporal for showing fear in battle, that the marshal said, none, but a coward dares to boast that he has never felt fear. Well, Ananias felt fear, and I’m glad, and I’m glad that God in the book of Acts wanted me to see that. And he wanted you to see it. Do you sometimes get afraid? Me too. Do you sometimes not witness because you’re afraid of what people will think about you? Me too. You know what happened to me yesterday? And I’m, this is time, I’m not going to do much of this, but occasionally I’m going to pause because it makes me feel better. And Jesus told me to. I, we interviewed Eric Metaxas on his new book, not too long ago. And the book is titled Is Atheism Dead? and his book says dead as a door nail. And it’s, it’s a great book. I mean, when you read Eric’s books, you have to devote your life to them cause he’s never written a small book and this is another thick book that covers a subject so well. And I was reading it and when we go to a restaurant, my wife and I. We don’t have family in the house anymore, so we go out to eat often. It’s just a hassle sometimes to clean up and cook for the two of us. And we do that a lot, but sometimes we just go out to a restaurant and when we do, Anna and I both take a book because frankly, waitresses and waiters are slow sometimes and you’re sitting there and hungry. And so, we read before they come and I had Eric’s book with me and Anna said, are you going to take that book with you? And I said, no, I’m going to take a mystery. She said, why? And I don’t know what I said, but I found out later when the Holy Spirit convicted me, that I didn’t want the people in the restaurant to see me reading a religious book. Are you afraid sometimes? I am too. And so was Ananias. And the reason God included him in the Scripture was to say, it’s okay to be afraid. It’s just not okay to stop. Whatever you’re afraid of, go do it anyway, and he’ll go with you. And so, we see a servant of Christ who is quite human and doesn’t want to do what God told him to. You think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve. That was Steve Brown, continuing our journey through the book of Acts. And all this week, we’re living here in Acts chapter nine. More good stuff tomorrow. Be sure to join us then. Well, as you know, we have another radio show. It’s a weekly talk radio show called Steve Brown Etc. And to borrow from Steve, it’s not half bad. Well, one of our favorite guests this year was author Dane Ortlund. On that episode, we talked with Dane about an often overlooked subject, how Jesus described himself, and spoiler Dane’s book is called, Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers. This show was so good that we’d love to send it to you on a CD for free. Get it now by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail Steve@keylife.org to ask for that CD. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
Key Life Network
P.O. Box 5000
Maitland, Florida 32794
If you’re in Canada, send your request to
Key Life Canada
P.O. Box 28060
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6J8
Just ask for your copy of the CD featuring Dane Ortlund. Finally, if you value what we do here at Key Life, would you prayerfully consider giving to support that work? Giving could not be easier. Just charge a gift on your credit card or include a guest in your envelope. Or now we make it even easier, just pick up your phone and text Key Life to 28950. That’s Key Life, one word, two words, doesn’t matter, text that to 28950. Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. And we are a listener supported production of Key Life Network.