November 21

Acts 9:1 — 10:48

But Saul, still breathing threat and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, in order that he might bring bound to Jerusalem any whom he found who belonged to The Way, both men and women.

3 Now as he was traveling he approached Damascus, when suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him, 4 and he fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him: “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” 5 He said: “Who are you, Lord?” He said: “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. 6 Nevertheless, rise and enter into the city, and what you must do will be told you.” 7 Now the men that were journeying with him were standing speechless, hearing, indeed, the sound of a voice, but not beholding any man. 8 But Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were opened he was seeing nothing. So they led him by the hand and conducted him into Damascus. 9 And for three days he did not see anything, and he neither ate nor drank.

10 There was in Damascus a certain disciple named Ananias, and the Lord said to him in a vision: “Ananias!” He said: “Here I am, Lord.” 11 The Lord said to him: “Rise, go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man named Saul, from Tarsus. For, look! he is praying, 12 and in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands upon him that he might recover sight.” 13 But Ananias answered: “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how many injurious things he did to your holy ones in Jerusalem. 14 And here he has authority from the chief priests to put in bonds all those calling upon your name.” 15 But the Lord said to him: “Be on your way, because this man is a chosen vessel to me to bear my name to the nations as well as to kings and the sons of Israel. 16 For I shall show him plainly how many things he must suffer for my name.”

17 So Ananias went off and entered into the house, and he laid his hands upon him and said: “Saul, brother, the Lord, the Jesus that appeared to you on the road over which you were coming, has sent me forth, in order that you may recover sight and be filled with holy spirit.” 18 And immediately there fell from his eyes what looked like scales, and he recovered sight; and he rose and was baptized, 19 and he took food and gained strength.

He got to be for some days with the disciples in Damascus, 20 and immediately in the synagogues he began to preach Jesus, that this One is the Son of God. 21 But all those hearing him gave way to astonishment and would say: “Is this not the man that ravaged those in Jerusalem who call upon this name, and that had come here for this very purpose, that he might lead them bound to the chief priests?” 22 But Saul kept on acquiring power all the more and was confounding the Jews that dwelt in Damascus as he proved logically that this is the Christ.

23 Now when a good many days were coming to a close, the Jews took counsel together to do away with him. 24 However, their plot against him became known to Saul. But they were closely watching also the gates both day and night in order to do away with him. 25 So his disciples took him and let him down by night through an opening in the wall, lowering him in a basket.

26 On arriving in Jerusalem he made efforts to join himself to the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, because they did not believe he was a disciple. 27 So Barnabas came to his aid and led him to the apostles, and he told them in detail how on the road he had seen the Lord and that he had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had spoken boldly in the name of Jesus. 28 And he continued with them, walking in and out at Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord; 29 and he was talking and disputing with the Greek-speaking Jews. But these made attempts to do away with him. 30 When the brothers detected this, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus.

31 Then, indeed, the congregation throughout the whole of Judea and Galilee and Samaria entered into a period of peace, being built up; and as it walked in the fear of Jehovah and in the comfort of the holy spirit it kept on multiplying.

32 Now as Peter was going through all [parts] he came down also to the holy ones that dwelt in Lydda. 33 There he found a certain man named Aeneas, who had been lying flat on his cot for eight years, as he was paralyzed. 34 And Peter said to him: “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you. Rise and make up your bed.” And he rose immediately. 35 And all those who inhabited Lydda and the [plain of] Sharon saw him, and these turned to the Lord.

36 But in Joppa there was a certain disciple named Tabitha, which, when translated, means Dorcas. She abounded in good deeds and gifts of mercy that she was rendering. 37 But in those days she happened to fall sick and die. So they bathed her and laid her in an upper chamber. 38 Now as Lydda was near Joppa, when the disciples heard that Peter was in this city they dispatched two men to him to entreat [him]: “Please do not hesitate to come on as far as us.” 39 At that Peter rose and went with them. And when he arrived, they led him up into the upper chamber; and all the widows presented themselves to him weeping and exhibiting many inner garments and outer garments that Dorcas used to make while she was with them. 40 But Peter put everybody outside and, bending his knees, he prayed, and, turning to the body, he said: “Tabitha, rise!” She opened her eyes and, as she caught sight of Peter, she sat up. 41 Giving her his hand, he raised her up, and he called the holy ones and the widows and presented her alive. 42 This became known throughout all Joppa, and many became believers on the Lord. 43 For quite a few days he remained in Joppa with a certain Simon, a tanner.

Now in Caesarea there was a certain man named Cornelius, an army officer of the Italian band, as it was called, 2 a devout man and one fearing God together with all his household, and he made many gifts of mercy to the people and made supplication to God continually. 3 Just about the ninth hour of the day he saw plainly in a vision an angel of God come in to him and say to him: “Cornelius!” 4 The man gazed at him and, becoming frightened, said: “What is it, Lord?” He said to him: “Your prayers and gifts of mercy have ascended as a remembrance before God. 5 So now send men to Joppa and summon a certain Simon who is surnamed Peter. 6 This man is being entertained by a certain Simon, a tanner, who has a house by the sea.” 7 As soon as the angel that spoke to him had left, he called two of his house servants and a devout soldier from among those who were in constant attendance upon him, 8 and he related everything to them and dispatched them to Joppa.

9 The next day as they were pursuing their journey and were approaching the city, Peter went up to the housetop about the sixth hour to pray. 10 But he became very hungry and wanted to eat. While they were preparing, he fell into a trance 11 and beheld heaven opened and some sort of vessel descending like a great linen sheet being let down by its four extremities upon the earth; 12 and in it there were all sorts of four-footed creatures and creeping things of the earth and birds of heaven. 13 And a voice came to him: “Rise, Peter, slaughter and eat!” 14 But Peter said: “Not at all, Lord, because never have I eaten anything defiled and unclean.” 15 And the voice [spoke] again to him, the second time: “You stop calling defiled the things God has cleansed.” 16 This occurred a third time, and immediately the vessel was taken up into heaven.

17 Now while Peter was in great perplexity inwardly over what the vision he had seen might mean, look! the men dispatched by Cornelius had made inquiries for Simon’s house and stood there at the gate. 18 And they called out and inquired whether Simon who was surnamed Peter was being entertained there. 19 As Peter was going over in his mind about the vision, the spirit said: “Look! Three men are seeking you. 20 However, rise, go downstairs and be on your way with them, not doubting at all, because I have dispatched them.” 21 So Peter went downstairs to the men and said: “Look! I am the one YOU are seeking. What is the cause for which YOU are present?” 22 They said: “Cornelius, an army officer, a man righteous and fearing God and well reported by the whole nation of the Jews, was given divine instructions by a holy angel to send for you to come to his house and to hear the things you have to say.” 23 Therefore he invited them in and entertained them.

The next day he rose and went off with them, and some of the brothers that were from Joppa went with him. 24 On the day after that he entered into Caesarea. Cornelius, of course, was expecting them and had called together his relatives and intimate friends. 25 As Peter entered, Cornelius met him, fell down at his feet and did obeisance to him. 26 But Peter lifted him up, saying: “Rise; I myself am also a man.” 27 And as he conversed with him he went in and found many people assembled, 28 and he said to them: “YOU well know how unlawful it is for a Jew to join himself to or approach a man of another race; and yet God has shown me I should call no man defiled or unclean. 29 Hence I came, really without objection, when I was sent for. Therefore I inquire the reason that YOU have sent for me.”

30 Accordingly Cornelius said: “Four days ago counting from this hour I was praying in my house at the ninth hour, when, look! a man in bright raiment stood before me 31 and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been favorably heard and your gifts of mercy have been remembered before God. 32 Send, therefore, to Joppa and call for Simon, who is surnamed Peter. This man is being entertained in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the sea.’ 33 Therefore I at once sent to you, and you did well in coming here. And so at this time we are all present before God to hear all the things you have been commanded by Jehovah to say.”

34 At this Peter opened his mouth and said: “For a certainty I perceive that God is not partial, 35 but in every nation the man that fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him. 36 He sent out the word to the sons of Israel to declare to them the good news of peace through Jesus Christ: this One is Lord of all [others]. 37 YOU know the subject that was talked about throughout the whole of Judea, starting from Galilee after the baptism that John preached, 38 namely, Jesus who was from Nazareth, how God anointed him with holy spirit and power, and he went through the land doing good and healing all those oppressed by the Devil; because God was with him. 39 And we are witnesses of all the things he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem; but they also did away with him by hanging him on a stake. 40 God raised this One up on the third day and granted him to become manifest, 41 not to all the people, but to witnesses appointed beforehand by God, to us, who ate and drank with him after his rising from the dead. 42 Also, he ordered us to preach to the people and to give a thorough witness that this is the One decreed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. 43 To him all the prophets bear witness, that everyone putting faith in him gets forgiveness of sins through his name.”

44 While Peter was yet speaking about these matters the holy spirit fell upon all those hearing the word. 45 And the faithful ones that had come with Peter who were of those circumcised were amazed, because the free gift of the holy spirit was being poured out also upon people of the nations. 46 For they heard them speaking with tongues and magnifying God. Then Peter responded: 47 “Can anyone forbid water so that these might not be baptized who have received the holy spirit even as we have?” 48 With that he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they requested him to remain for some days.