1 Meanwhile, still spewing death threats against the Lord's disciples, Saul went to the high priest. 2 He asked him for letters to take with him to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any men or women belonging to the Way, he might bring them in chains to Jerusalem. 3 As Saul traveled along and was approaching Damascus, a light from heaven suddenly flashed around him. 4 He dropped to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul! Why are you persecuting me?"
5 He asked, "Who are you, Lord?" 6 The voice said, "I'm Jesus, whom you are persecuting. Now get up, go into the city, and you will be told what you are to do."
7 Meanwhile, the men who were traveling with Saul were standing speechless, for they heard the voice but didn't see anyone. 8 When Saul got up off the ground, he couldn't see anything, even though his eyes were open. So his companions took him by the hand and led him into Damascus. 9 For three days he couldn't see, and he didn't eat or drink anything.
10 Now in Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called out to him in a vision, "Ananias!" He answered, "Here I am, Lord."
11 The Lord told him, "Get up, go to the street called Straight, and in the home of Judas look for a man from Tarsus named Saul. At this very moment he's praying. 12 He has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so he would see again."
13 But Ananias answered, "Lord, I have heard many people tell how much evil this man has done to your saints in Jerusalem. 14 He is here with authority from the high priests to put in chains all who call on your name."
15 But the Lord told him, "Go, because he's my chosen instrument to carry my name to unbelievers, to their kings, and to the descendants of Israel. 16 since I'm going to show him how much he must suffer for my name's sake."
17 So Ananias left and went to that house. He laid his hands on Saul and said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were traveling, has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit."
18 All at once something like scales fell from Saul's eyes, and he could see again. 19 He got up and was baptized, and after eating some food, he felt strong again. For several days he stayed with the disciples in Damascus. 20 He immediately started to preach about Jesus in the synagogues, saying, "This is the Son of God."
21 Everyone who heard him was astonished and said, "This is the man who harassed those who were calling on Jesus' name in Jerusalem, isn't it? Didn't he come here to bring them in chains to the high priests?"
22 But Saul grew more and more persuasive, and continued to confound the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that this man was the Messiah.
23 After several days had gone by, the Jewish leaders plotted to murder Saul, 24 but their plot became known to him. They were even watching the gates day and night to murder him, 25 but his disciples took him one night and let him down through the city wall by lowering him in a basket.
26 When Saul arrived in Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they all were afraid of him because they wouldn't believe he was a disciple. 27 Barnabas, however, introduced Saul to the apostles, telling them how on the road Saul had seen the Lord, who had spoken to him, and how courageously he had spoken in the name of Jesus in Damascus. 28 So he freely circulated among them in Jerusalem, speaking courageously in the name of the Lord. 29 He kept talking and arguing with the Hellenistic Jews, but they were bent on murdering him. 30 When the brothers found out about the plot, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him away to Tarsus.
31 So the church throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria enjoyed peace. As it continued to be built up and to live in the fear of the Lord, it kept increasing in numbers through the encouragement of the Holy Spirit.
32 Now when Peter was going around among all of the disciples, he also visited the saints living in Lydda. 33 There he found a man named Aeneas who was paralyzed and had been bedridden for eight years. 34 Peter told him, "Aeneas, Jesus the Messiah is healing you. Get up and put away your mat!" At once he got up, 35 and all the people who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.
36 In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha, which in Greek is Dorcas. She was known for her good actions and acts of charity that she was always doing. 37 At that time, she got sick and died. After they had washed her, they laid her in an upstairs room. 38 Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples heard that Peter was there and sent two men to him and begged him, "Come here quickly!" 39 So Peter got up and went with them. When he arrived, they took him upstairs. All the widows gathered around Peter, crying and showing him all the shirts and coats Dorcas had made while she was still with them. 40 Peter made them all go outside. After kneeling down, he prayed, turned to the body, and said, "Tabitha, get up!" She opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, she sat up. 41 He extended his hand and helped her get up. Then he called the saints, including the widows, and gave her back to them alive. 42 What happened became known throughout Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. 43 Meanwhile, Peter stayed in Joppa for several days with Simon, a leatherworker.