Jesus meets with Saul
1 All this time, Saul was still speaking strongly against the disciples of the Lord Jesus. He wanted to kill all the believers. So he went to see the most important priest in Jerusalem. 2 Saul asked him, ‘Please will you write some letters for me? Then I can give one of these letters to the leader of each Jewish group in Damascus. That will give me authority to take hold of any believers that I find there.’
9:2Saul needed letters from the most important priest. Then he would have authority. He could catch any believers that he found.
9:2Damascus was an important city and it was about 240 kilometres from Jerusalem. It was in Syria and many Jews lived there. Damascus was one of the ten towns that the Romans did not rule. These ten towns had their own rulers.
Saul wanted to find anyone who agreed with the Way of the Lord Jesus. Then he would tie them and bring them back to Jerusalem, whether they were men or they were women. 3 He travelled towards Damascus. He was very near the city when a bright light suddenly appeared. The light came from the sky, and it shone all around him. 4 Saul fell down onto the ground. He heard a voice which said to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you fight against me?’
9:2People called the early Christians ‘Those who followed the Way of the Lord’.
5 Saul asked, ‘Lord, who are you?’ He said, ‘I am Jesus. And you are fighting against me. 6 Now you must get up and go into the city. Someone there will tell you what you must do.’
7 The men who were travelling with Saul stood still. They could not say anything. They could hear that someone was speaking. But they could not see anyone. 8 Saul stood up. He opened his eyes, but he could not see anything. So the men who were with Saul held his hand. They led him into Damascus. 9 For three days, Saul could not see anything. During that time, he did not eat any food or drink anything.
10 There was a believer who lived in Damascus. His name was Ananias. God gave him a message in a vision. The Lord Jesus said to him, ‘Ananias!’ Ananias answered, ‘Lord, I am here.’
11 Jesus said to Ananias, ‘Prepare yourself and go to Straight Street. A man called Judas lives on that street. Go to his house. When you get there, ask for a man from Tarsus who is called Saul. He is praying to God. 12 He has had a message from God in a vision. In his vision, he saw a man who is called Ananias come to him. He saw you put your hands on him so that he could see again.’
13 Ananias replied, ‘Lord, many people have told me about this man. He has done very bad things to your own people, the believers in Jerusalem. 14 Now he has come here to Damascus, and he has brought letters with him from the leaders of the priests. They have given him authority, so that he will take hold of everyone who believes in you. He will tie them and put them in prison.’
15 But the Lord said to Ananias, ‘Go now to Saul! I have chosen him to work for me. He will go to those who are not Jews and to their rulers. He will tell them about me. He will also tell the people of Israel about me. 16 I myself will tell him about the many troubles that he will have. He will have much pain on my behalf.’
17 So Ananias went to Judas's house and he went inside. He put his hands on Saul and he said to him, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus himself has sent me here to you. It was Jesus that you saw on the road when you were coming here to Damascus. He has sent me to you so that you will be able to see again. God will also fill you with his Holy Spirit.’
9:17Brother is a name that a Christian may call another Christian.
18 When Ananias said that, immediately something like bits of fish skin fell from Saul's eyes. Then Saul could see again. So he stood up and Ananias baptized him. 19 Then Saul ate some food and he became strong again.
Saul teaches people about Jesus
Saul stayed with the believers in Damascus for a few days.