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Acts 9:19-31 (New International Reader's Version)

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Saul in Damascus and Jerusalem

19 After eating some food, he got his strength back. Saul spent several days with the believers in Damascus. 20 At once he began to preach in the synagogues. He taught that Jesus is the Son of God. 21 All who heard him were amazed. They asked, "Isn't he the man who caused great trouble in Jerusalem for those who worship Jesus? Hasn't he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?" 22 But Saul grew more and more powerful. The Jews living in Damascus couldn't believe what was happening. Saul proved to them that Jesus is the Christ. 23 After many days, the Jews had a meeting. They planned to kill Saul. 24 But he learned about their plan. Day and night they watched the city gates closely in order to kill him. 25 But his followers helped him escape by night. They lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall. 26 When Saul came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the believers. But they were all afraid of him. They didn't believe he was really one of Jesus' followers. 27 But Barnabas took him to the apostles. He told them about Saul's journey. He said that Saul had seen the Lord. He told how the Lord had spoken to Saul. Barnabas also said that Saul had preached without fear in Jesus' name in Damascus. 28 So Saul stayed with the believers. He moved about freely in Jerusalem. He spoke boldly in the Lord's name. 29 He talked and argued with Jews who followed Greek practices. But they tried to kill him. 30 The other believers heard about this. They took Saul down to Caesarea. From there they sent him off to Tarsus. 31 Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. The Holy Spirit gave the church strength and boldness. So they grew in numbers. And they worshiped the Lord.
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