The Acts of the Apostles – Chapter Nine

The Acts of the Apostles

 

Chapter Nine

Now Saul, still breathing out threatenings and slaughter (murder) against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, asking him for letters to take to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any who were of that way, he might bring them bound, both men and women, to Jerusalem. But it came to pass while he was journeying, as he drew near to Damascus, that suddenly a light from heaven shined round about him.

And after falling to the ground, he heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And the Lord said, “I am Jesus, Whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the pricks.”

[One only has to imagine the shock and disbelief that Saul was experiencing at the moment. For one minute earlier his thoughts were firmly fixed on persecuting those whom he saw as enemies of God, and everything that he had been taught and learned and believed was now exploding into a million pieces in his mind. Shock is putting it mildly, to say the least.]

Then, trembling and astonished, he said, “Lord, what will You have me to do?” And the Lord said to him, “Get up and go into the city, and you shall be told what you must do.”

Now the men who were traveling with him stood speechless; for they indeed heard the voice, but they saw no one. (I would venture that a few more than Saul became believers that day also.) Then Saul arose from the ground; but when he opened his eyes, he saw no one. And they led him by the hand and brought him to Damascus. But for three days he was not able to see, and he did not eat or drink. Now there was in Damascus a certain disciple named Ananias. And the Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Behold, I am here, Lord.” And the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one named Saul from Tarsus; for behold, he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming and putting his hands on him, so that he may receive sight.”

Then Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many people about this man, how many evil things he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. And even in this place, he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.” But the Lord said to him, “Go, for this man is a chosen vessel to Me, to bear My name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel; for I will show him what great things he must suffer for My name.”

Then Ananias went away and came into the house; and after laying his hands on him, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord, has sent Me, even Jesus, Who appeared to you on the road in which you came, so that you might receive sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” And it was as if scales immediately fell from his eyes, and he instantly received sight; and he arose and was baptized. And after eating food, he was strengthened. Then Saul was with the disciples in Damascus for a number of days. And in the synagogues, he immediately began to proclaim Christ, that He is the Son of God. And all who heard him were amazed and said, “Is not this the man who destroyed those who called on this name in Jerusalem, and who came here for this purpose, so that he might bring them bound to the chief priests?” But Saul increased even more in power, and confounded the Jews who dwelt in Damascus, proving that this is the Christ.

Now when many days were fulfilled, the Jews consulted together to kill him. But their plot was made known to Saul. And they were watching the gates both day and night, in order that they might kill him. Then the disciples took him by night and let him down by the wall, lowering him in a basket. And when Saul came to Jerusalem, he attempted to join himself to the disciples; but all were afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple. Then Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles, and related to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that he had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had spoken boldly in the name of Jesus. And he was with them, coming in and going out in Jerusalem, and speaking boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then he spoke and disputed with the Greeks, but they attempted to kill him. And when the brethren learned of it, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him away to Tarsus.

Then the churches throughout the whole of Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace indeed. And they increased, being edified and walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit.

Now it came to pass that as Peter was passing through all the quarters, he also went down to the saints who lived in Lydda. And he found there a certain man named Aeneas, who was paralyzed and had for eight years been lying on a couch. And Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you. Arise and fold up your bed.” Then he immediately arose. And all those dwelling in Lydda and Saron saw him and turned to the Lord.

Now there was in Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha; which, being interpreted, is called Dorcas. She was full of good works and of alms that she did. And it came to pass in those days that she became sick and died; and after washing her, they put her in an upper room. And since Lydda was near Joppa, when the disciples heard the Peter was there, they sent two men to him, beseeching him not to delay to come to them.

Then Peter arose and went with them; and when he arrived, they brought him into the upper room; and all the widows stood around him, weeping and showing him the tunics and garments that Dorcas had made while she was with them. But after putting everyone out, Peter fell to his knees and prayed. Then, turning to the body, he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes; and when she saw Peter, she sat up. And he gave her his hand and helped her stand up; and after calling the saints and widows, he presented her alive.

And this became known throughout the whole city of Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. And it came to pass that he remained in Joppa for many days, lodging with a certain Simon, a tanner.

All scripture taken from The Holy Bible In Its Original Order – A New English Translation. York Publishing. Hollister, CA. USA