"I used to think that I had to do a lot of things to oppose the one named Jesus of Nazareth.
That is what I did in Jerusalem. By the authority I received from the chief priests, I locked many Christians in prison. I voted to have them killed every time a vote was taken.
I even went to each synagogue, punished believers, and forced them to curse [the name of Jesus]. In my furious rage against them, I hunted them down in cities outside [Jerusalem].
"I was carrying out these activities when I went to the city of Damascus. I had the power and authority of the chief priests.
Your Majesty, at noon, while I was traveling, I saw a light that was brighter than the sun. The light came from the sky and shined around me and those who were with me.
All of us fell to the ground, and I heard a voice asking me in Hebrew, 'Saul, Saul! Why are you persecuting me? It's hard for [a mortal like] you to resist God.'
"I asked, 'Who are you, sir?' "The Lord answered, 'I am Jesus, the one you're persecuting.
Stand up! I have appeared to you for a reason. I'm appointing you to be a servant and witness of what you have seen and of what I will show you.
I will rescue you from the Jewish people and from the non-Jewish people to whom I am sending you.
You will open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light and from Satan's control to God's. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and a share among God's people who are made holy by believing in me.'
"At that point I did not disobey the vision I saw from heaven, King Agrippa.