Acts 22:6-21

Paul tells the crowd how he began to believe in Jesus

6 Paul continued to say, ‘As I was travelling, I came near to Damascus. About midday, a bright light from the sky suddenly shone round me. 7 I fell down to the ground. Then I heard a voice that said to me, “Saul, Saul, why do you fight against me?”

8 “Lord, who are you?” I asked.

He said to me, “I am Jesus from Nazareth. And you are fighting against me.” 9 The men who travelled with me saw the light. But they did not understand the voice that spoke to me.

10 I asked, “Lord, what must I do?” He said to me, “Get up now and go into Damascus. When you arrive in the city, someone will come to you. He will tell you what God wants you to do.” 11 The bright light hurt my eyes so that I could not see. So the men who were with me held my hand. They led me into Damascus.

12 In Damascus, there was a man called Ananias. He worshipped God and he obeyed our Law. All the Jews in Damascus said good things about him. 13 Ananias came to see me. He stood near to me and he said, “Brother Saul, see again!” Then immediately I could see again. I could look at him.

14 Then Ananias said to me, “The God that we worship and our ancestors worshipped has chosen you. He will tell you what he wants you to do. God has let you see his special servant, who is completely good. You have heard this servant's message to you. 15 You will tell people everywhere about the things that you have seen and heard. That is what God wants you to do. 16 So, now you do not need to wait any longer. Stand up and I will baptize you. Believe in the Lord Jesus so that God will forgive you for your sins.”

17 So, then I returned to Jerusalem. I went into God's Great House and I was praying there. I had a special dream. 18 In the dream, I saw the Lord and he spoke to me. He said, “Hurry. Leave Jerusalem quickly. The people here will not believe what you say to them about me.”

19 I replied, “Lord, the people here know what I have been doing. They know that I wanted to take hold of all the people who believed in you. I went to all our Jewish meeting places to look for the believers. When I found them, I put them in prison and I hit them with sticks. 20 I myself was there when the people killed Stephen. He was your servant who told people your message. But I agreed that it was right to kill him. I even held the coats of the people while they killed him.”

21 But the Lord said to me, “Go! I will now send you a long way away. You must go to the Gentiles and tell them my message.” ’