Acts 9:1-22New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
Saul Becomes a Believer
9 Meanwhile, Saul continued to oppose the Lord’s followers. He said they would be put to death. He went to the high priest. 2 He asked the priest for letters to the synagogues in Damascus. He wanted to find men and women who belonged to the Way of Jesus. The letters would allow him to take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3 On his journey, Saul approached Damascus. Suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground. He heard a voice speak to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you opposing me?”
5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.
“I am Jesus,” he replied. “I am the one you are opposing. 6 Now get up and go into the city. There you will be told what you must do.”
7 The men traveling with Saul stood there. They weren’t able to speak. They had heard the sound. But they didn’t see anyone. 8 Saul got up from the ground. He opened his eyes, but he couldn’t see. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. 9 For three days he was blind. He didn’t eat or drink anything.
10 In Damascus there was a believer named Ananias. The Lord called out to him in a vision. “Ananias!” he said.
“Yes, Lord,” he answered.
11 The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street. Ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul. He is praying. 12 In a vision Saul has seen a man come and place his hands on him. That man’s name is Ananias. In the vision, Ananias placed his hands on Saul so he could see again.”
13 “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I’ve heard many reports about this man. They say he has done great harm to your holy people in Jerusalem. 14 Now he has come here to arrest all those who worship you. The chief priests have given him authority to do this.”
15 But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! I have chosen this man to work for me. He will announce my name to the Gentiles and to their kings. He will also announce my name to the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for me.”
17 Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. He placed his hands on Saul. “Brother Saul,” he said, “you saw the Lord Jesus. He appeared to you on the road as you were coming here. He has sent me so that you will be able to see again. You will be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Right away something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes. And he could see again. He got up and was baptized. 19 After eating some food, he got his strength back.
Saul in Damascus and Jerusalem
Saul spent several days with the believers in Damascus. 20 Right away he began to preach in the synagogues. He taught that Jesus is the Son of God. 21 All who heard him were amazed. They asked, “Isn’t he the man who caused great trouble in Jerusalem? Didn’t he make trouble for those who worship Jesus? Hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?” 22 But Saul grew more and more powerful. The Jews living in Damascus couldn’t believe what was happening. Saul proved to them that Jesus is the Messiah.
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