Acts 9

1˻In Jerusalem˼ Saul was still trying to scare and kill the followers of the Lord ˻(Jesus)˼ all the time. So he went to the high priest. 2Saul asked him to write letters to the Jews of the synagogues in the city of Damascus. Saul wanted the high priest to give him the authority to find people in Damascus who were followers of the Way ˻of Jesus˼. If he found any believers there, men or women, he would arrest them and bring them back to Jerusalem. 3So Saul went to Damascus. When he came near the city, a very bright light from the sky suddenly shined around him. 4Saul fell to the ground. He heard a voice saying to him: “Saul, Saul! Why are you doing these bad things to me?” 5Saul said, “Who are you, Lord?” The voice answered, “I am Jesus. I am the One you are trying to hurt. 6Get up now and go into the city. Someone there will tell you what you must do.” 7The men traveling with Saul stood there. They said nothing. The men heard the voice, but they saw no one. 8Saul got up from the ground. He opened his eyes, but he could not see. So the men with Saul held his hand and led him into Damascus. 9For three days Saul could not see; he did not eat or drink. 10There was a follower ˻of Jesus˼ in Damascus. His name was Ananias. The Lord ˻(Jesus)˼ spoke to Ananias in a vision. The Lord said, “Ananias!” Ananias answered, “Here I am, Lord.” 11The Lord said to Ananias, “Get up and go to the street called Straight Street. Find the house of Judas. Ask for a man named Saul from the city of Tarsus. He is there now, praying. 12Saul has seen a vision. In this vision a man named Ananias came to him and put his hands on him. Then Saul could see again.” 13But Ananias answered, “Lord ˻(Jesus)˼, many people have told me about this man ˻(Saul)˼. They told me about the many bad things this man did to your holy people in Jerusalem. 14Now he ˻(Saul)˼ has come here to Damascus. The leading priests have given him the power to arrest all people that believe in you.” 15But the Lord ˻(Jesus)˼ said to Ananias, “Go! I have chosen Saul for an important work. He must tell about me to kings, to the Jewish people, and to other nations. 16I will show Saul the things he must suffer for my name.” 17So Ananias left and went to the house of Judas. He put his hands on Saul and said, “Saul, my brother, the Lord Jesus sent me. He is the One you saw on the road when you came here. Jesus sent me so that you can see again and so that you can be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18Immediately, something that looked like fish scales fell off Saul’s eyes. Saul was able to see again! Saul got up and was baptized. 19Then he ate some food and began to feel strong again. Saul stayed with the followers ˻of Jesus˼ in Damascus for a few days. 20Soon he began to go to the synagogues and tell people about Jesus. He told the people, “Jesus is the Son of God!” 21All the people that heard Saul were amazed. They said, “This is the same man that was in Jerusalem. He was trying to destroy the people that trust in this name ˻(Jesus)˼! He ˻(Saul)˼ has come here to do the same thing. He came here to arrest the followers ˻of Jesus˼ and take them back ˻to Jerusalem˼ to the leading priests.” 22But Saul became more and more powerful. He proved that Jesus is the Christ. His proofs were so strong that the Jews who lived in Damascus could not argue with him. 23After many days, some Jews made plans to kill Saul. 24The Jews were watching the city gates day and night, ˻waiting for Saul˼. They wanted to kill him. But Saul learned about their plan. 25One night some followers that Saul had taught helped him leave the city. The followers put Saul in a basket. They put the basket through a hole in the city wall and lowered him down. 26Then Saul went to Jerusalem. He tried to join the group of followers ˻(believers)˼, but they were all afraid of him. They did not believe that Saul was really a follower ˻of Jesus˼. 27But Barnabas accepted Saul and brought him to the apostles. Barnabas told the apostles that Saul had seen the Lord ˻(Jesus)˼ on the road ˻to Damascus˼. Barnabas explained to the apostles how the Lord had spoken to Saul. Then he told the apostles that Saul spoke for the Lord ˻(Jesus)˼ without fear to the people in Damascus. 28And so Saul stayed with the followers. He went everywhere in Jerusalem, speaking for the Lord ˻(Jesus)˼ without fear. 29Saul often talked with the Jews that spoke Greek. He had arguments with them. But they were trying to kill him. 30When the brothers ˻(believers)˼ learned about this, they took Saul to the city of Caesarea. From Caesarea they sent Saul to the city of Tarsus. 31The church ˻(believers)˼ everywhere in Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had a time of peace. With the help of the Holy Spirit, the group became stronger. The believers showed that they respected the Lord by the way they lived. Because of this, the group of believers grew larger and larger. 32Peter traveled through all the towns ˻around Jerusalem˼. He visited the believers who lived in Lydda. 33In Lydda he met a paralyzed ˻(crippled)˼ man named Aeneas. Aeneas had not been able to leave his bed for the past eight years. 34Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you. Stand up and make your bed! You can do this for yourself now!” Aeneas stood up immediately. 35All the people living in Lydda and on the plain of Sharon saw him. These people turned to ˻(believed in)˼ the Lord ˻Jesus˼. 36In the city of Joppa there was a follower ˻of Jesus˼ named Tabitha. (Her Greek name, Dorcas, means “a deer.”) She always did good things for people. She always gave money to people that needed it. 37While Peter was in Lydda, Tabitha became sick and died. They washed her body and put it in a room upstairs. 38The followers in Joppa heard that Peter was in Lydda. (Lydda is near Joppa.) So they sent two men to Peter. They begged him, “Hurry, please come quickly!” 39Peter got ready and went with them. When he arrived, they took him to the room upstairs. All the widows stood around Peter. They were crying. They showed Peter the coats and other clothes that Dorcas ˻(Tabitha)˼ had made when she was still alive. 40Peter sent all the people out of the room. He kneeled and prayed. Then he turned to Tabitha’s body and said, “Tabitha, stand up!” She opened her eyes. When she saw Peter, she sat up. 41He gave her his hand and helped her stand up. Then he called the believers and the widows into the room. He showed them Tabitha; she was alive! 42People everywhere in Joppa learned about this. Many of these people believed in the Lord ˻(Jesus)˼. 43Peter stayed in Joppa for many days. He stayed with a man named Simon who was a leatherworker.

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