Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord's disciples.1 He went to the high priest
and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus,2 so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way,3 whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.
As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.44
He fell to the ground and heard a voice5 say to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"5
"Who are you, Lord?" Saul asked. "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied.
6"Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do."67
The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound7 but did not see anyone.88
Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing.9 So they led him by the hand into Damascus.
For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.
In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision,10"Ananias!" "Yes, Lord," he answered.
The Lord told him, "Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus11 named Saul, for he is praying.12In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on12 him to restore his sight."13
"Lord," Ananias answered, "I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints13 in Jerusalem.1414
And he has come here with authority from the chief priests15 to arrest all who call on your name."1615
But the Lord said to Ananias, "Go! This man is my chosen instrument17 to carry my name before the Gentiles18 and their kings19 and before the people of Israel.16I will show him how much he must suffer for my name."2017
Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on21 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."2218
Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul's eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized,23
and after taking some food, he regained his strength. Saul spent several days with the disciples24 in Damascus.2520
At once he began to preach in the synagogues26 that Jesus is the Son of God.2721
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?28 And hasn't he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?"2922
Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Christ.a3023
After many days had gone by, the Jews conspired to kill him,3124
but Saul learned of their plan.32 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.3326
When he came to Jerusalem,34 he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple.
But Barnabas35 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,36 and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus.3728
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,38 but they tried to kill him.3930
When the brothers40 learned of this, they took him down to Caesarea41 and sent him off to Tarsus.4231
Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria43 enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers,44 living in the fear of the Lord.