1Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest2and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.3As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.4He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’5‘Who are you, Lord?’ Saul asked. ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ he replied.6‘Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.’7The men travelling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone.8Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus.9For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.10In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, ‘Ananias!’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ he answered.11The Lord told him, ‘Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying.12In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.’13‘Lord,’ Ananias answered, ‘I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem.14And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.’15But the Lord said to Ananias, ‘Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel.16I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.’17Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord – Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here – has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’18Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptised,
Saul in Damascus and Jerusalem
19and after taking some food, he regained his strength. Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus.20At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God.21All those who heard him were astonished and asked, ‘Isn’t he the man who caused havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?’22Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah.23After many days had gone by, there was a conspiracy among the Jews to kill him,24but Saul learned of their plan. Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him.25But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall.26When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple.27But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus.28So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord.29He talked and debated with the Hellenistic Jews, but they tried to kill him.30When the believers learned of this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus.31Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.
Aeneas and Dorcas
32As Peter travelled about the country, he went to visit the Lord’s people who lived in Lydda.33There he found a man named Aeneas, who was paralysed and had been bedridden for eight years.34‘Aeneas,’ Peter said to him, ‘Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and roll up your mat.’ Immediately Aeneas got up.35All those who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.36In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas); she was always doing good and helping the poor.37About that time she became ill and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room.38Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, ‘Please come at once!’39Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood round him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them.40Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning towards the dead woman, he said, ‘Tabitha, get up.’ She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up.41He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called for the believers, especially the widows, and presented her to them alive.42This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord.43Peter stayed in Joppa for some time with a tanner named Simon.
19and taking food, he was strengthened. For some days he was with the disciples at Damascus. (Ac 9:9; Ac 26:20)20And immediately he proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is the Son of God.” (Ac 9:22)21And all who heard him were amazed and said, “Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem of those who called upon this name? And has he not come here for this purpose, to bring them bound before the chief priests?” (Ac 9:13; Ga 1:13; Ga 1:23)22But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ. (Ac 9:20; Ac 18:28; 1Ti 1:12)
26And when he had come to Jerusalem, he attempted to join the disciples. And they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple. (Ac 22:17; Ac 26:20)27But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles and declared to them how on the road he had seen the Lord, who spoke to him, and how at Damascus he had preached boldly in the name of Jesus. (Ac 4:29; Ac 4:36; Ac 9:3; Ac 9:19; Ac 9:22; Ga 1:18)28So he went in and out among them at Jerusalem, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord. (Ac 1:21)29And he spoke and disputed against the Hellenists. But they were seeking to kill him. (Ac 6:1; Ac 22:18)30And when the brothers learned this, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus. (Joh 21:23; Ac 11:25; Ga 1:21)31So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied. (Ne 5:9; Ac 8:1; Ac 9:35; Ac 9:42; Ac 16:5)
The Healing of Aeneas
32Now as Peter went here and there among them all, he came down also to the saints who lived at Lydda. (Ac 8:25)33There he found a man named Aeneas, bedridden for eight years, who was paralyzed.34And Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; rise and make your bed.” And immediately he rose. (Ac 3:6)35And all the residents of Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord. (1Ch 5:16; 1Ch 27:29; So 2:1; Ac 9:31; Ac 9:42; Ac 11:21; 2Co 3:16)
Dorcas Restored to Life
36Now there was in Joppa a disciple named Tabitha, which, translated, means Dorcas. She was full of good works and acts of charity. (Jos 19:46; 1Ti 2:10)37In those days she became ill and died, and when they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. (Ac 1:13; Ac 9:39; Ac 20:8)38Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent two men to him, urging him, “Please come to us without delay.” (Nu 22:16)39So Peter rose and went with them. And when he arrived, they took him to the upper room. All the widows stood beside him weeping and showing tunics and other garments that Dorcas made while she was with them. (Ac 9:37)40But Peter put them all outside, and knelt down and prayed; and turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. (Mt 9:25; Mr 5:41; Joh 11:43; Ac 7:60)41And he gave her his hand and raised her up. Then, calling the saints and widows, he presented her alive.42And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. (Joh 11:45; Joh 12:11)43And he stayed in Joppa for many days with one Simon, a tanner. (Ac 10:6)