ImmerseMessiah NLT - Page 88


the arrest of any followers of the Way he found there. He wanted to bring
them—both men and women—back to Jerusalem in chains.
As he was approaching Damascus on this mission, a light from heaven
suddenly shone down around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice
saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?”
“Who are you, lord?” Saul asked.
And the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting! Now get
up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
The men with Saul stood speechless, for they heard the sound of someone’s voice but saw no one! Saul picked himself up off the ground, but
when he opened his eyes he was blind. So his companions led him by the
hand to Damascus. He remained there blind for three days and did not
eat or drink.
Now there was a believer in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord spoke
to him in a vision, calling, “Ananias!”
“Yes, Lord!” he replied.
The Lord said, “Go over to Straight Street, to the house of Judas. When
you get there, ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul. He is praying to me
right now. I have shown him a vision of a man named Ananias coming in
and laying hands on him so he can see again.”
“But Lord,” exclaimed Ananias, “I’ve heard many people talk about the
terrible things this man has done to the believers in Jerusalem! And he is authorized by the leading priests to arrest everyone who calls upon your name.”
But the Lord said, “Go, for Saul is my chosen instrument to take my
message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel. And
I will show him how much he must suffer for my name’s sake.”
So Ananias went and found Saul. He laid his hands on him and said,
“Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road, has sent
me so that you might regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
Instantly something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he regained his
sight. Then he got up and was baptized. Afterward he ate some food and
regained his strength.
Saul stayed with the believers in Damascus for a few days. And immediately he began preaching about Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “He is
indeed the Son of God!”
All who heard him were amazed. “Isn’t this the same man who caused
such devastation among Jesus’ followers in Jerusalem?” they asked. “And
didn’t he come here to arrest them and take them in chains to the leading
Saul’s preaching became more and more powerful, and the Jews in
­Damascus couldn’t refute his proofs that Jesus was indeed the Messiah.
After a while some of the Jews plotted together to kill him. They were

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