In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision,1 "Ananias!" "Yes, Lord," he answered.
The Lord told him, "Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus2 named Saul, for he is praying.
In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on3 him to restore his sight."
"Lord," Ananias answered, "I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints4 in Jerusalem.5
And he has come here with authority from the chief priests6 to arrest all who call on your name."7
But the Lord said to Ananias, "Go! This man is my chosen instrument8 to carry my name before the Gentiles9 and their kings10 and before the people of Israel.
I will show him how much he must suffer for my name."11
Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on12 Saul, he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord--Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here--has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit."13
Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul's eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized,14
and after taking some food, he regained his strength. Saul spent several days with the disciples15 in Damascus.16
At once he began to preach in the synagogues17 that Jesus is the Son of God.18
All those who heard him were astonished and asked, "Isn't he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name?19 And hasn't he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?"20
Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Christ.21
After many days had gone by, the Jews conspired to kill him,22
but Saul learned of their plan.23 Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him.
But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall.24
When he came to Jerusalem,25 he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple.
But Barnabas26 took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him,27 and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus.28
So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord.
He talked and debated with the Grecian Jews,29 but they tried to kill him.30
When the brothers31 learned of this, they took him down to Caesarea32 and sent him off to Tarsus.33
Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria34 enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers,35 living in the fear of the Lord.