Acts  ◦   Chapter 9

1But Saul was still fuming threats to kill any who joined the Lord's spiritual health-care team. He went to the high priest2and obtained arrest warrants to take to the synagogue in Damascus, so if he found any there who had partaken of the Remedy, he could take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.3As he approached Damascus, a light from heaven blazed around him.4He threw himself to the ground and heard a voice say, "Oh, Saul, why are you persecuting me?"

5"Lord, who are you?" Saul asked. "I am Jesus, and it is me whom you are attacking," the voice replied.6"Now you need to get on your feet and go into the city, where you will be told what you must do."

7The men traveling with Saul froze where they were, unable to speak. They heard the voice but didn't see anyone.8Saul stood up, but when he opened his eyes, he was blind. They took him by the hand and led him into Damascus.9For the next three days, he was blind and didn't eat or drink.

10Ananias, one of the members of the Lord's spiritual health-care team, lived in Damascus. The Lord called to him in a vision, "Ananias!" "Lord, I'm listening. What would you have of me?" he answered.

11The Lord instructed him, "Go to Judas' house on Straight Street and ask for Saul of Tarsus, for he has been talking to me.12He has seen in a vision that a man named Ananias will come and place hands on him and restore his ability to see."

13"But Lord," Ananias cautioned, "the reports I've heard say this is the man who has injured your friends in Jerusalem.14And he has come here with arrest warrants from the chief priests to imprison all who partake of the Remedy and trust in you to reveal your character of love."

15But the Lord encouraged Ananias, saying, "Go and do this, for this man is my chosen ambassador to take my Remedy and reveal my character to the Gentiles and their rulers, as well as to the people of Israel.16I will reveal to him how much he will suffer for embracing and sharing my character of love."

17So Ananias found the house and went in. He placed his hands on Saul and said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus himself, who appeared to you on the road here, has sent me to you so you may see, both physically and spiritually, as you are filled with the Holy Spirit."18Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul's eyes, and he could see. He got up and publicly joined the Lord's spiritual health-care team by the ceremony of being immersed in water.19Then he ate some food to regain his strength, and stayed there several days, visiting with members of the Lord's spiritual health-care team in Damascus.

20Then he went straight to the Jewish synagogue and began preaching, admitting that he had been wrong, and that Jesus really is the Son of God.21Those who heard him couldn't believe it, and wondering if it was a trick, asked, "Isn't this the same man who in Jerusalem sought to destroy those who follow Jesus? And hasn’t he come here with arrest warrants to take them back to the chief priests?"22But Saul's presentation of the truth proving that Jesus is the Savior of the world-the Messiah-became so powerful that the Jews living in Damascus couldn't refute it.

23Realizing they couldn't kill the message of truth which Saul presented, the Jews plotted to murder the messenger,24but Saul discovered their plans. The Jews placed assassins at the city gates, who watched for him in order to kill him.25But his followers foiled the assassins’ plans, and one night they helped him escape by lowering Saul in a basket through a hole in the city wall.

26When he arrived in Jerusalem, he tried to join with members of the Lord's spiritual health-care team, but they were afraid of him, not trusting he was really one of them.27Barnabas took him to the Twelve. He told them about Saul's journey, how he had seen Jesus and how Jesus had spoken to him, and how he had courageously and powerfully promoted the truth about Jesus in Damascus.28So Saul was invited to stay with them. As a team-member, he went about Jerusalem boldly teaching the truth about Jesus.29He powerfully confronted the distortions held by the Greek-speaking Jews, but they became agitated and tried to kill him.30When those who had partaken of the Remedy learned of this, they took Saul to Caesarea and sent him on to Tarsus.

31Those who had partaken of the Remedy throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. The Holy Spirit gave them strength, courage and confidence, and the number of people who partook of the Remedy and joined them increased daily. They lived in a state of deep reverence and admiration for the Lord.

32As Peter traveled throughout the country, he visited the living temples of God-those people who were renewed in holiness by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit-in Lydda.33He found a man there named Aeneas, who was paralyzed and had been bedridden for eight years.34Peter said to him, "Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you, so stand up and put your mat away." Immediately Aeneas got up.35Everyone living in Lydda and Sharon saw him healed and accepted Jesus.

36In the city of Joppa, there was one of the Lord's interns named Tabitha, which in Greek is Dorcas and means 'gazelle.' She was constantly doing good, helping the poor and homeless.37At that time, she became sick and died, and her body was washed and laid in an upstairs room.38When the interns heard that Peter was in Lydda, which was near Joppa, they sent two men who implored him to come at once!

39Peter returned with them, and when he arrived, he went upstairs to the room. The room was filled with widows who stood around crying and showing him all the clothes Dorcas had made for them while she was alive.

40Peter had everyone leave the room, then he knelt down and talked to Jesus. When finished, he turned toward the dead woman and said, "Tabitha, get up." She opened her eyes, looked at Peter, and sat up.41He took her hand and helped her stand. Then he called the believers and widows into the room and presented her to them alive.42News of this spread rapidly throughout Joppa, and many people believed in Jesus.43Peter remained there for some time, living with a tanner named Simon.