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1SAUL, still breathing murderous threats against the Lord's disciples, went to the high priest

2and applied for letters to the synagogues at Damascus authorizing him to arrest any followers of the new way whom he found, men or women, and bring them to Jerusalem.

3While he was still on the road and nearing Damascus, suddenly a light from the sky flashed all around him.

4He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”

5“Tell me, Lord,” he said, “who you are.” The voice answered, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.

6But now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you have to do.”

7Meanwhile the men who were travelling with him stood speechless; they heard the voice but could see no one.

8Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could not see; they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus.

9He was blind for three days, and took no food or drink.

10There was in Damascus a disciple named Ananias. He had a vision in which he heard the Lord say: “Ananias!” “Here I am, Lord,” he answered.

11The Lord said to him, “Go to Straight Street, to the house of Judas, and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul. You will find him at prayer;

12he has had a vision of a man named Ananias coming in and laying hands on him to restore his sight.”

13Ananias answered, “Lord, I have often heard about this man and all the harm he has done your people in Jerusalem.

14Now he is here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who invoke your name.”

15But the Lord replied, “You must go, for this man is my chosen instrument to bring my name before the nations and their kings, and before the people of Israel.

16I myself will show him all that he must go through for my name's sake.”

17So Ananias went and, on entering the house, laid his hands on him and said, “Saul, my brother, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on your way here, has sent me to you so that you may recover your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”

18Immediately it was as if scales had fallen from his eyes, and he regained his sight. He got up and was baptized,

19and when he had eaten his strength returned. He stayed some time with the disciples in Damascus.

20Without delay he proclaimed Jesus publicly in the synagogues, declaring him to be the Son of God.

21All who heard were astounded. “Is not this the man”, they said, “who was in Jerusalem hunting down those who invoke this name? Did he not come here for the sole purpose of arresting them and taking them before the chief priests?”

22But Saul went from strength to strength, and confounded the Jews of Damascus with his cogent proofs that Jesus was the Messiah.

23When some time had passed, the Jews hatched a plot against his life;

24but their plans became known to Saul. They kept watch on the city gates day and night so that they might murder him;

25but one night some disciples took him and, lowering him in a basket, let him down over the wall.

26On reaching Jerusalem he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, because they did not believe that he really was a disciple.

27Barnabas, however, took him and introduced him to the apostles; he described to them how on his journey Saul had seen the Lord and heard his voice, and how at Damascus he had spoken out boldly in the name of Jesus.

28Saul now stayed with them, moving about freely in Jerusalem.

29He spoke out boldly and openly in the name of the Lord, talking and debating with the Greek-speaking Jews. But they planned to murder him,

30and when the brethren discovered this they escorted him down to Caesarea and sent him away to Tarsus.

31MEANWHILE the church, throughout Judaea, Galilee, and Samaria, was left in peace to build up its strength, and to live in the fear of the Lord. Encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers.

32In the course of a tour Peter was making throughout the region he went down to visit God's people at Lydda.

33There he found a man named Aeneas who had been bedridden with paralysis for eight years.

34Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ cures you; get up and make your bed!” and immediately he stood up.

35All who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him; and they turned to the Lord.

36In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek, Dorcas, meaning “Gazelle”), who filled her days with acts of kindness and charity.

37At that time she fell ill and died; and they washed her body and laid it in a room upstairs.

38As Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, who had heard that Peter was there, sent two men to him with the urgent request, “Please come over to us without delay.”

39At once Peter went off with them. When he arrived he was taken up to the room, and all the widows came and stood round him in tears, showing him the shirts and coats that Dorcas used to make while she was with them.

40Peter sent them all outside, and knelt down and prayed; then, turning towards the body, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, saw Peter, and sat up.

41He gave her his hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called together the members of the church and the widows and showed her to them alive.

42News of it spread all over Joppa, and many came to believe in the Lord.

43Peter stayed on in Joppa for some time at the house of a tanner named Simon.

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