Acts 9:22-43 The Message Bible

22  But their suspicions didn't slow Saul down for even a minute. His momentum was up now and he plowed straight into the opposition, disarming the Damascus Jews and trying to show them that this Jesus was the Messiah.

Saul Escapes from the Jews

23  After this had gone on quite a long time, some Jews conspired to kill him, 24  but Saul got wind of it. They were watching the city gates around the clock so they could kill him. 25  Then one night the disciples engineered his escape by lowering him over the wall in a basket.

Saul at Jerusalem

26  Back in Jerusalem he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him. They didn't trust him one bit. 27  Then Barnabas took him under his wing. He introduced him to the apostles and stood up for him, told them how Saul had seen and spoken to the Master on the Damascus Road and how in Damascus itself he had laid his life on the line with his bold preaching in Jesus' name. 28  After that he was accepted as one of them, going in and out of Jerusalem with no questions asked, uninhibited as he preached in the Master's name. 29  But then he ran afoul of a group called Hellenists - he had been engaged in a running argument with them - who plotted his murder. 30  When his friends learned of the plot, they got him out of town, took him to Caesarea, and then shipped him off to Tarsus. 31  Things calmed down after that and the church had smooth sailing for a while. All over the country - Judea, Samaria, Galilee - the church grew. They were permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God. The Holy Spirit was with them, strengthening them. They prospered wonderfully.

Aeneas Healed

32  Peter went off on a mission to visit all the churches. In the course of his travels he arrived in Lydda and met with the believers there. 33  He came across a man - his name was Aeneas - who had been in bed eight years paralyzed. 34  Peter said, "Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and make your bed!" And he did it - jumped right out of bed. 35  Everybody who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him walking around and woke up to the fact that God was alive and active among them.

Dorcas Restored to Life

36  Down the road a way in Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha, "Gazelle" in our language. She was well-known for doing good and helping out. 37  During the time Peter was in the area she became sick and died. Her friends prepared her body for burial and put her in a cool room. 38  Some of the disciples had heard that Peter was visiting in nearby Lydda and sent two men to ask if he would be so kind as to come over. 39  Peter got right up and went with them. They took him into the room where Tabitha's body was laid out. Her old friends, most of them widows, were in the room mourning. They showed Peter pieces of clothing the Gazelle had made while she was with them. 40  Peter put the widows all out of the room. He knelt and prayed. Then he spoke directly to the body: "Tabitha, get up." 41  He took her hand and helped her up. Then he called in the believers and widows, and presented her to them alive. 42  When this became known all over Joppa, many put their trust in the Master. 43  Peter stayed on a long time in Joppa as a guest of Simon the Tanner.

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