Bible: Acts 8:4-11:18
Philip Preaches in Samaria
8:4 Now those who had been forced to scatter went around proclaiming the good news of the word. 8:5 Philip went down to the main city of Samaria 1 and began proclaiming 2 the Christ 3 to them. 8:6 The crowds were paying attention with one mind to what Philip said, 4 as they heard and saw the miraculous signs 5 he was performing. 8:7 For unclean spirits, 6 crying with loud shrieks, were coming out of many who were possessed, 7 and many paralyzed and lame people were healed. 8:8 So there was 8 great joy 9 in that city.
8:9 Now in that city was a man named Simon, who had been practicing magic 10 and amazing the people of Samaria, claiming to be someone great. 8:10 All the people, 11 from the least to the greatest, paid close attention to him, saying, “This man is the power of God that is called ‘Great.’” 12 8:11 And they paid close attention to him because he had amazed them for a long time with his magic. 8:12 But when they believed Philip as he was proclaiming the good news about the kingdom of God 13 and the name of Jesus Christ, 14 they began to be baptized, 15 both men and women. 8:13 Even Simon himself believed, and after he was baptized, he stayed close to 16 Philip constantly, and when he saw the signs and great miracles that were occurring, he was amazed. 17
8:14 Now when the apostles in Jerusalem 18 heard that Samaria had accepted the word 19 of God, they sent 20 Peter and John to them. 8:15 These two 21 went down and prayed for them so that they would receive the Holy Spirit. 8:16 (For the Spirit 22 had not yet come upon 23 any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) 24 8:17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on the Samaritans, 25 and they received the Holy Spirit. 26
8:18 Now Simon, when he saw that the Spirit 27 was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, offered them money, 8:19 saying, “Give me this power 28 too, so that everyone I place my hands on may receive the Holy Spirit.” 8:20 But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, 29 because you thought you could acquire 30 God’s gift with money! 8:21 You have no share or part 31 in this matter 32 because your heart is not right before God! 8:22 Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord 33 that he may perhaps forgive you for the intent of your heart. 34 8:23 For I see that you are bitterly envious 35 and in bondage to sin.” 8:24 But Simon replied, 36 “You pray to the Lord for me so that nothing of what you have said may happen to 37 me.”
8:25 So after Peter and John 38 had solemnly testified 39 and spoken the word of the Lord, 40 they started back to Jerusalem, proclaiming 41 the good news to many Samaritan villages 42 as they went. 43
Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch
8:26 Then an angel of the Lord 44 said to Philip, 45 “Get up and go south 46 on the road that goes down from Jerusalem 47 to Gaza.” (This is a desert 48 road.) 49 8:27 So 50 he got up 51 and went. There 52 he met 53 an Ethiopian eunuch, 54 a court official of Candace, 55 queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasury. He 56 had come to Jerusalem to worship, 57 8:28 and was returning home, sitting 58 in his chariot, reading 59 the prophet Isaiah. 8:29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” 8:30 So Philip ran up 60 to it 61 and heard the man 62 reading Isaiah the prophet. He 63 asked him, 64 “Do you understand what you’re reading?” 8:31 The man 65 replied, “How in the world can I, 66 unless someone guides me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 8:32 Now the passage of scripture the man 67 was reading was this:
“He was led like a sheep to slaughter,
and like a lamb before its shearer is silent,
so he did 68 not open his mouth.
Who can describe his posterity? 71
8:34 Then the eunuch said 74 to Philip, “Please tell me, 75 who is the prophet saying this about – himself or someone else?” 76 8:35 So Philip started speaking, 77 and beginning with this scripture 78 proclaimed the good news about Jesus to him. 8:36 Now as they were going along the road, they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “Look, there is water! What is to stop me 79 from being baptized?” 8:37 [[EMPTY]] 80 8:38 So he ordered the chariot to stop, and both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, 81 and Philip baptized 82 him. 8:39 Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him any more, but 83 went on his way rejoicing. 84 8:40 Philip, however, found himself 85 at Azotus, 86 and as he passed through the area, 87 he proclaimed the good news 88 to all the towns 89 until he came to Caesarea. 90
The Conversion of Saul
9:1 Meanwhile Saul, still breathing out threats 91 to murder 92 the Lord’s disciples, went to the high priest 9:2 and requested letters from him to the synagogues 93 in Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, 94 either men or women, he could bring them as prisoners 95 to Jerusalem. 96 9:3 As he was going along, approaching 97 Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed 98 around him. 9:4 He 99 fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, 100 why are you persecuting me?” 101 9:5 So he said, “Who are you, Lord?” He replied, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting! 9:6 But stand up 102 and enter the city and you will be told 103 what you must do.” 9:7 (Now the men 104 who were traveling with him stood there speechless, 105 because they heard the voice but saw no one.) 106 9:8 So Saul got up from the ground, but although his eyes were open, 107 he could see nothing. 108 Leading him by the hand, his companions 109 brought him into Damascus. 9:9 For 110 three days he could not see, and he neither ate nor drank anything. 111
9:10 Now there was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias. The 112 Lord 113 said to him in a vision, “Ananias,” and he replied, “Here I am, 114 Lord.” 9:11 Then the Lord told him, “Get up and go to the street called ‘Straight,’ 115 and at Judas’ house look for a man from Tarsus named Saul. For he is praying, 9:12 and he has seen in a vision 116 a man named Ananias come in and place his hands on him so that he may see again.” 9:13 But Ananias replied, 117 “Lord, I have heard from many people 118 about this man, how much harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem, 9:14 and here he has authority from the chief priests to imprison 119 all who call on your name!” 120 9:15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, because this man is my chosen instrument 121 to carry my name before Gentiles and kings and the people of Israel. 122 9:16 For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.” 123 9:17 So Ananias departed and entered the house, placed 124 his hands on Saul 125 and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came here, 126 has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 127 9:18 Immediately 128 something like scales 129 fell from his eyes, and he could see again. He 130 got up and was baptized, 9:19 and after taking some food, his strength returned.
For several days 131 he was with the disciples in Damascus, 9:20 and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, 132 saying, “This man is the Son of God.” 133 9:21 All 134 who heard him were amazed and were saying, “Is this not 135 the man who in Jerusalem was ravaging 136 those who call on this name, and who had come here to bring them as prisoners 137 to the chief priests?” 9:22 But Saul became more and more capable, 138 and was causing consternation 139 among the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving 140 that Jesus 141 is the Christ. 142
Saul’s Escape from Damascus
9:23 Now after some days had passed, the Jews plotted 143 together to kill him, 9:24 but Saul learned of their plot against him. 144 They were also watching 145 the city gates 146 day and night so that they could kill him. 9:25 But his disciples took him at night and let him down through an opening 147 in the wall by lowering him in a basket. 148
Saul Returns to Jerusalem
9:26 When he arrived in Jerusalem, 149 he attempted to associate 150 with the disciples, and they were all afraid of him, because they did not believe 151 that he was a disciple. 9:27 But Barnabas took 152 Saul, 153 brought 154 him to the apostles, and related to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, that 155 the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had spoken out boldly 156 in the name of Jesus. 9:28 So he was staying with them, associating openly with them 157 in Jerusalem, speaking out boldly in the name of the Lord. 9:29 He was speaking and debating 158 with the Greek-speaking Jews, 159 but they were trying to kill him. 9:30 When the brothers found out about this, they brought him down to Caesarea 160 and sent him away to Tarsus.
9:31 Then 161 the church throughout Judea, Galilee, 162 and Samaria experienced 163 peace and thus was strengthened. 164 Living 165 in the fear of the Lord and in the encouragement of the Holy Spirit, the church 166 increased in numbers.
Peter Heals Aeneas
9:32 Now 167 as Peter was traveling around from place to place, 168 he also came down to the saints who lived in Lydda. 169 9:33 He found there a man named Aeneas who had been confined to a mattress for eight years because 170 he was paralyzed. 9:34 Peter 171 said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus the Christ 172 heals you. Get up and make your own bed!” 173 And immediately he got up. 9:35 All 174 those who lived in Lydda 175 and Sharon 176 saw him, and they 177 turned 178 to the Lord.
Peter Raises Dorcas
9:36 Now in Joppa 179 there was a disciple named Tabitha (which in translation means 180 Dorcas). 181 She was continually doing good deeds and acts of charity. 182 9:37 At that time 183 she became sick 184 and died. When they had washed 185 her body, 186 they placed it in an upstairs room. 9:38 Because Lydda 187 was near Joppa, when the disciples heard that Peter was there, they sent two men to him and urged him, “Come to us without delay.” 188 9:39 So Peter got up and went with them, and 189 when he arrived 190 they brought him to the upper room. All 191 the widows stood beside him, crying and showing him 192 the tunics 193 and other clothing 194 Dorcas used to make 195 while she was with them. 9:40 But Peter sent them all outside, 196 knelt down, 197 and prayed. Turning 198 to the body, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” Then she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, she sat up. 199 9:41 He gave 200 her his hand and helped her get up. Then he called 201 the saints and widows and presented her alive. 9:42 This became known throughout all 202 Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. 203 9:43 So 204 Peter 205 stayed many days in Joppa with a man named 206 Simon, a tanner. 207
Peter Visits Cornelius
10:1 Now there was a man in Caesarea 208 named Cornelius, a centurion 209 of what was known as the Italian Cohort. 210 10:2 He 211 was a devout, God-fearing man, 212 as was all his household; he did many acts of charity for the people 213 and prayed to God regularly. 10:3 About three o’clock one afternoon 214 he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God 215 who came in 216 and said to him, “Cornelius.” 10:4 Staring at him and becoming greatly afraid, Cornelius 217 replied, 218 “What is it, Lord?” The angel 219 said to him, “Your prayers and your acts of charity 220 have gone up as a memorial 221 before God. 10:5 Now 222 send men to Joppa 223 and summon a man named Simon, 224 who is called Peter. 10:6 This man is staying as a guest with a man named Simon, a tanner, 225 whose house is by the sea.” 10:7 When the angel who had spoken to him departed, Cornelius 226 called two of his personal servants 227 and a devout soldier from among those who served him, 228 10:8 and when he had explained everything to them, he sent them to Joppa.
10:9 About noon 229 the next day, while they were on their way and approaching 230 the city, Peter went up on the roof 231 to pray. 10:10 He became hungry and wanted to eat, but while they were preparing the meal, a trance came over him. 232 10:11 He 233 saw heaven 234 opened 235 and an object something like a large sheet 236 descending, 237 being let down to earth 238 by its four corners. 10:12 In it 239 were all kinds of four-footed animals and reptiles 240 of the earth and wild birds. 241 10:13 Then 242 a voice said 243 to him, “Get up, Peter; slaughter 244 and eat!” 10:14 But Peter said, “Certainly not, Lord, for I have never eaten anything defiled and ritually unclean!” 245 10:15 The voice 246 spoke to him again, a second time, “What God has made clean, you must not consider 247 ritually unclean!” 248 10:16 This happened three times, and immediately the object was taken up into heaven. 249
10:17 Now while Peter was puzzling over 250 what the vision he had seen could signify, the men sent by Cornelius had learned where Simon’s house was 251 and approached 252 the gate. 10:18 They 253 called out to ask if Simon, known as Peter, 254 was staying there as a guest. 10:19 While Peter was still thinking seriously about 255 the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Look! Three men are looking for you. 10:20 But get up, 256 go down, and accompany them without hesitation, 257 because I have sent them.” 10:21 So Peter went down 258 to the men and said, “Here I am, 259 the person you’re looking for. Why have you come?” 10:22 They said, “Cornelius the centurion, 260 a righteous 261 and God-fearing man, well spoken of by the whole Jewish nation, 262 was directed by a holy angel to summon you to his house and to hear a message 263 from you.” 10:23 So Peter 264 invited them in and entertained them as guests.
On the next day he got up and set out 265 with them, and some of the brothers from Joppa 266 accompanied him. 10:24 The following day 267 he entered Caesarea. 268 Now Cornelius was waiting anxiously 269 for them and had called together his relatives and close friends. 10:25 So when 270 Peter came in, Cornelius met 271 him, fell 272 at his feet, and worshiped 273 him. 10:26 But Peter helped him up, 274 saying, “Stand up. I too am a mere mortal.” 275 10:27 Peter 276 continued talking with him as he went in, and he found many people gathered together. 277 10:28 He said to them, “You know that 278 it is unlawful 279 for a Jew 280 to associate with or visit a Gentile, 281 yet God has shown me that I should call no person 282 defiled or ritually unclean. 283 10:29 Therefore when you sent for me, 284 I came without any objection. Now may I ask why 285 you sent for me?” 10:30 Cornelius 286 replied, 287 “Four days ago at this very hour, at three o’clock in the afternoon, 288 I was praying in my house, and suddenly 289 a man in shining clothing stood before me 10:31 and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your acts of charity 290 have been remembered before God. 291 10:32 Therefore send to Joppa and summon Simon, who is called Peter. This man is staying as a guest in the house of Simon the tanner, 292 by the sea.’ 10:33 Therefore I sent for you at once, and you were kind enough to come. 293 So now we are all here in the presence of God 294 to listen 295 to everything the Lord has commanded you to say to us.” 296
10:34 Then Peter started speaking: 297 “I now truly understand that God does not show favoritism in dealing with people, 298 10:35 but in every nation 299 the person who fears him 300 and does what is right 301 is welcomed before him. 10:36 You know 302 the message 303 he sent to the people 304 of Israel, proclaiming the good news of peace 305 through 306 Jesus Christ 307 (he is Lord 308 of all) – 10:37 you know what happened throughout Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John announced: 309 10:38 with respect to Jesus from Nazareth, 310 that 311 God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power. He 312 went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, 313 because God was with him. 314 10:39 We 315 are witnesses of all the things he did both in Judea 316 and in Jerusalem. 317 They 318 killed him by hanging him on a tree, 319 10:40 but 320 God raised him up on the third day and caused him to be seen, 321 10:41 not by all the people, but by us, the witnesses God had already chosen, 322 who ate and drank 323 with him after he rose from the dead. 10:42 He 324 commanded us to preach to the people and to warn 325 them 326 that he is the one 327 appointed 328 by God as judge 329 of the living and the dead. 10:43 About him all the prophets testify, 330 that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins 331 through his name.”
The Gentiles Receive the Holy Spirit
10:44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on 332 all those who heard the message. 333 10:45 The 334 circumcised believers 335 who had accompanied Peter were greatly astonished 336 that 337 the gift of the Holy Spirit 338 had been poured out 339 even on the Gentiles, 10:46 for they heard them speaking in tongues and praising 340 God. Then Peter said, 10:47 “No one can withhold the water for these people to be baptized, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, 341 can he?” 342 10:48 So he gave orders to have them baptized 343 in the name of Jesus Christ. 344 Then they asked him to stay for several days.
Peter Defends His Actions to the Jerusalem Church
11:1 Now the apostles and the brothers who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles too had accepted 345 the word of God. 346 11:2 So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, 347 the circumcised believers 348 took issue with 349 him, 11:3 saying, “You went to 350 uncircumcised men and shared a meal with 351 them.” 11:4 But Peter began and explained it to them point by point, 352 saying, 11:5 “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision, 353 an object something like a large sheet descending, 354 being let down from heaven 355 by its four corners, and it came to me. 11:6 As I stared 356 I looked into it and saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild animals, reptiles, 357 and wild birds. 358 11:7 I also heard a voice saying to me, ‘Get up, Peter; slaughter 359 and eat!’ 11:8 But I said, ‘Certainly not, Lord, for nothing defiled or ritually unclean 360 has ever entered my mouth!’ 11:9 But the voice replied a second time from heaven, ‘What God has made clean, you must not consider 361 ritually unclean!’ 11:10 This happened three times, and then everything was pulled up to heaven again. 11:11 At that very moment, 362 three men sent to me from Caesarea 363 approached 364 the house where we were staying. 365 11:12 The Spirit told me to accompany them without hesitation. These six brothers 366 also went with me, and we entered the man’s house. 11:13 He informed us how he had seen an angel standing in his house and saying, ‘Send to Joppa and summon Simon, who is called Peter, 11:14 who will speak a message 367 to you by which you and your entire household will be saved.’ 11:15 Then as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on 368 them just as he did 369 on us at the beginning. 370 11:16 And I remembered the word of the Lord, 371 as he used to say, 372 ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 373 11:17 Therefore if God 374 gave them the same gift 375 as he also gave us after believing 376 in the Lord Jesus Christ, 377 who was I to hinder 378 God?” 11:18 When they heard this, 379 they ceased their objections 380 and praised 381 God, saying, “So then, God has granted the repentance 382 that leads to life even to the Gentiles.” 383