Acts 9; Acts 10

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Acts 9

1 In Jerusalem Saul was still threatening the followers of the Lord by saying he would kill them. So he went to the high priest
2 and asked him to write letters to the synagogues in the city of Damascus. Then if Saul found any followers of Christ's Way, men or women, he would arrest them and bring them back to Jerusalem.
3 So Saul headed toward Damascus. As he came near the city, a bright light from heaven suddenly flashed around him.
4 Saul fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul! Why are you persecuting me?"
5 Saul said, "Who are you, Lord?" The voice answered, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.
6 Get up now and go into the city. Someone there will tell you what you must do."
7 The people traveling with Saul stood there but said nothing. They heard the voice, but they saw no one.
8 Saul got up from the ground and opened his eyes, but he could not see. So those with Saul took his hand and led him into Damascus.
9 For three days Saul could not see and did not eat or drink.
10 There was a follower of Jesus in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord spoke to Ananias in a vision, "Ananias!" Ananias answered, "Here I am, Lord."
11 The Lord said to him, "Get up and go to Straight Street. Find the house of Judas, and ask for a man named Saul from the city of Tarsus. He is there now, praying.
12 Saul has seen a vision in which a man named Ananias comes to him and lays his hands on him. Then he is able to see again."
13 But Ananias answered, "Lord, many people have told me about this man and the terrible things he did to your holy people in Jerusalem.
14 Now he has come here to Damascus, and the leading priests have given him the power to arrest everyone who worships you."
15 But the Lord said to Ananias, "Go! I have chosen Saul for an important work. He must tell about me to those who are not Jews, to kings, and to the people of Israel.
16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name."
17 So Ananias went to the house of Judas. He laid his hands on Saul and said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus sent me. He is the one you saw on the road on your way here. He sent me so that you can see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit."
18 Immediately, something that looked like fish scales fell from Saul's eyes, and he was able to see again! Then Saul got up and was baptized.
19 After he ate some food, his strength returned. Saul stayed with the followers of Jesus in Damascus for a few days.
20 Soon he began to preach about Jesus in the synagogues, saying, "Jesus is the Son of God."
21 All the people who heard him were amazed. They said, "This is the man who was in Jerusalem trying to destroy those who trust in this name! He came here to arrest the followers of Jesus and take them back to the leading priests."
22 But Saul grew more powerful. His proofs that Jesus is the Christ were so strong that the Jewish people in Damascus could not argue with him.
23 After many days, some Jewish people made plans to kill Saul.
24 They were watching the city gates day and night, but Saul learned about their plan.
25 One night some followers of Saul helped him leave the city by lowering him in a basket through an opening in the city wall.
26 When Saul went to Jerusalem, he tried to join the group of followers, but they were all afraid of him. They did not believe he was really a follower.
27 But Barnabas accepted Saul and took him to the apostles. Barnabas explained to them that Saul had seen the Lord on the road and the Lord had spoken to Saul. Then he told them how boldly Saul had preached in the name of Jesus in Damascus.
28 And so Saul stayed with the followers, going everywhere in Jerusalem, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord.
29 He would often talk and argue with the Jewish people who spoke Greek, but they were trying to kill him.
30 When the followers learned about this, they took Saul to Caesarea and from there sent him to Tarsus.
31 The church everywhere in Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had a time of peace and became stronger. Respecting the Lord by the way they lived, and being encouraged by the Holy Spirit, the group of believers continued to grow.
32 As Peter was traveling through all the area, he visited God's people who lived in Lydda.
33 There he met a man named Aeneas, who was paralyzed and had not been able to leave his bed for the past eight years.
34 Peter said to him, "Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you. Stand up and make your bed." Aeneas stood up immediately.
35 All the people living in Lydda and on the Plain of Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.
36 In the city of Joppa there was a follower named Tabitha (whose Greek name was Dorcas). She was always doing good deeds and kind acts.
37 While Peter was in Lydda, Tabitha became sick and died. Her body was washed and put in a room upstairs.
38 Since Lydda is near Joppa and the followers in Joppa heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two messengers to Peter. They begged him, "Hurry, please come to us!"
39 So Peter got ready and went with them. When he arrived, they took him to the upstairs room where all the widows stood around Peter, crying. They showed him the shirts and coats Tabitha had made when she was still alive.
40 Peter sent everyone out of the room and kneeled and prayed. Then he turned to the body and said, "Tabitha, stand up." She opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, she sat up.
41 He gave her his hand and helped her up. Then he called the saints and the widows into the room and showed them that Tabitha was alive.
42 People everywhere in Joppa learned about this, and many believed in the Lord.
43 Peter stayed in Joppa for many days with a man named Simon who was a tanner.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Acts 10

1 At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, an officer in the Italian group of the Roman army.
2 Cornelius was a religious man. He and all the other people who lived in his house worshiped the true God. He gave much of his money to the poor and prayed to God often.
3 One afternoon about three o'clock, Cornelius clearly saw a vision. An angel of God came to him and said, "Cornelius!"
4 Cornelius stared at the angel. He became afraid and said, "What do you want, Lord?" The angel said, "God has heard your prayers. He has seen that you give to the poor, and he remembers you.
5 Send some men now to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is also called Peter.
6 He is staying with a man, also named Simon, who is a tanner and has a house beside the sea."
7 When the angel who spoke to Cornelius left, Cornelius called two of his servants and a soldier, a religious man who worked for him.
8 Cornelius explained everything to them and sent them to Joppa.
9 About noon the next day as they came near Joppa, Peter was going up to the roofn to pray.
10 He was hungry and wanted to eat, but while the food was being prepared, he had a vision.
11 He saw heaven opened and something coming down that looked like a big sheet being lowered to earth by its four corners.
12 In it were all kinds of animals, reptiles, and birds.
13 Then a voice said to Peter, "Get up, Peter; kill and eat."
14 But Peter said, "No, Lord! I have never eaten food that is unholy or unclean."
15 But the voice said to him again, "God has made these things clean so don't call them 'unholy'!"
16 This happened three times, and at once the sheet was taken back to heaven.
17 While Peter was wondering what this vision meant, the men Cornelius sent had found Simon's house and were standing at the gate.
18 They asked, "Is Simon Peter staying here?"
19 While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, "Listen, three men are looking for you.
20 Get up and go downstairs. Go with them without doubting, because I have sent them to you."
21 So Peter went down to the men and said, "I am the one you are looking for. Why did you come here?"
22 They said, "A holy angel spoke to Cornelius, an army officer and a good man; he worships God. All the Jewish people respect him. The angel told Cornelius to ask you to come to his house so that he can hear what you have to say."
23 So Peter asked the men to come in and spend the night. The next day Peter got ready and went with them, and some of the followers from Joppa joined him.
24 On the following day they came to Caesarea. Cornelius was waiting for them and had called together his relatives and close friends.
25 When Peter entered, Cornelius met him, fell at his feet, and worshiped him.
26 But Peter helped him up, saying, "Stand up. I too am only a human."
27 As he talked with Cornelius, Peter went inside where he saw many people gathered.
28 He said, "You people understand that it is against our Jewish law for Jewish people to associate with or visit anyone who is not Jewish. But God has shown me that I should not call any person 'unholy' or 'unclean.'
29 That is why I did not argue when I was asked to come here. Now, please tell me why you sent for me."
30 Cornelius said, "Four days ago, I was praying in my house at this same time -- three o'clock in the afternoon. Suddenly, there was a man standing before me wearing shining clothes.
31 He said, 'Cornelius, God has heard your prayer and has seen that you give to the poor and remembers you.
32 So send some men to Joppa and ask Simon Peter to come. Peter is staying in the house of a man, also named Simon, who is a tanner and has a house beside the sea.'
33 So I sent for you immediately, and it was very good of you to come. Now we are all here before God to hear everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us."
34 Peter began to speak: "I really understand now that to God every person is the same.
35 In every country God accepts anyone who worships him and does what is right.
36 You know the message that God has sent to the people of Israel is the Good News that peace has come through Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Lord of all people!
37 You know what has happened all over Judea, beginning in Galilee after Johnn preached to the people about baptism.
38 You know about Jesus from Nazareth, that God gave him the Holy Spirit and power. You know how Jesus went everywhere doing good and healing those who were ruled by the devil, because God was with him.
39 We saw what Jesus did in Judea and in Jerusalem, but the Jews in Jerusalem killed him by hanging him on a cross.
40 Yet, on the third day, God raised Jesus to life and caused him to be seen,
41 not by all the people, but only by the witnesses God had already chosen. And we are those witnesses who ate and drank with him after he was raised from the dead.
42 He told us to preach to the people and to tell them that he is the one whom God chose to be the judge of the living and the dead.
43 All the prophets say it is true that all who believe in Jesus will be forgiven of their sins through Jesus' name."
44 While Peter was still saying this, the Holy Spirit came down on all those who were listening.
45 The Jewish believers who came with Peter were amazed that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been given even to those who were not Jews.
46 These Jewish believers heard them speaking in different languagesn and praising God. Then Peter said,
47 "Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we did!"
48 So Peter ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.