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Paul - Part 1 - Damascus

Jesus speaks to Paul on the road to Damascus.
Contributed by Lars-Goran Ronnberg
Story also available on our translated website: Spanish
After God sent the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, Jesus disciples shared the good news of Jesus and many people became Christians. <br/>Many of the religious leaders opposed what they were saying and tried to stop them teaching and preaching. One of the men most hostile to the followers of Jesus had the Greek name Paul. Paul hated Christians and had those in Jerusalem beaten and imprisoned. When Paul discovered there were many Christians in the city of Damascus, he planned how he could punish them as well. – Slide 1
He went to the High Priest in Jerusalem and asked him to give him permission to arrest the Christians in Damascus and put them in prison. – Slide 2
The High Priest was overjoyed and said: ‘Paul! You are a great servant of God! Here are letters giving you permission to seize the Christians in Damascus and bring them here to Jerusalem. You will have soldiers to help you.’ – Slide 3
Paul and the soldiers set out for Damascus with the authority to punish the Christians in Damascus. They were making threats and planning bad things to do to these Christians. – Slide 4
As they approached Damascus, suddenly, a bright light, stronger than the sun, shone directly on Paul. – Slide 5
Paul fell to the ground dazzled. A Voice spoke in the light, ‘Paul! Why do you persecute me?’  <br/>Paul was blinded and scared. He asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ <br/>The Voice replied: ‘I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting! Get up and go into the city where you will be told what you must do next!’ – Slide 6
Paul got up from the ground but could not see. He was completely blind. Two of the soldiers took him by the hand and led him into Damascus. – Slide 7
They led Paul down Straight Street, the main street in Damascus (it was 1560 meters long and 24 meters wide). Paul was allowed to stay at the house of a man called Judas. – Slide 8
Paul could not see and did not eat anything. He constantly prayed to Jesus to forgive him for all the evil he had done. – Slide 9
After three days Jesus spoke to one of the disciples in Damascus named Ananias.  <br/>‘Ananias’ said Jesus. Ananias answered, ‘Here I am, Lord!’  <br/>Jesus said: ‘Get up and go to the house of Judas in Straight Street and ask for a man named Paul. He is praying and in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias lay his hands on him so that he can see.’ – Slide 10
When Ananias heard the man he was to visit was Paul he was frightened. ‘I have heard that Paul did much harm to your disciples in Jerusalem and he has arrived in Damascus to arrest all who believe in you!’  <br/>Jesus answered, ‘Get up and go because Paul will become my servant and preach in many countries.’ – Slide 11
Ananias trusted Jesus and hurried to Straight Street to find Paul. – Slide 12
‘Paul, my brother!’ said Ananias. ‘Jesus who appeared to you on the road to Damascus has sent me to restore your sight!’ – Slide 13
Then Ananias laid his hands on Paul and God made him see again. – Slide 14
Paul and Ananias were so full of joy. Paul immediately wanted to be baptised to show he was now a follower Jesus. <br/>They went to a river … – Slide 15
… and Paul was baptised. – Slide 16
… – Slide 17
Paul thanked Jesus that his sins were now forgiven. Jesus empowered Paul by giving him the Holy Spirit so that he could preach about Him. – Slide 18
Paul ate food with his new friends and received new strength. – Slide 19
Then he went to the synagogue to tell others that what was written in the holy scriptures about the Saviour God promised to send had come true. That Saviour was Jesus. – Slide 20
When Paul spoke about Jesus, everyone was speechless. Wasn’t this the man who has come to arrest the followers of Jesus? – Slide 21
Paul immediately felt that he needed to be alone with God for a while. He went to Arabia, a desert south-east of Damascus. Paul spent time alone with God and learning from Him. He learnt that God wanted him to tell people who were not Jews about Jesus. (Galatians 1:17). – Slide 22
When Paul returned to the synagogue in Damascus, he continued to boldly preach about Jesus as the Saviour of the world. But many Jews became angry and said: ‘The man who came from Jerusalem to put the Christians in prison has now become a Christian himself! He must be killed!’ <br/>The Christians in Damascus found out about the plot to kill Paul. – Slide 23
Paul and his friends prayed that God would protect and help him so that he could escape from Damascus. – Slide 24
At that time there were seven gates into Damascus and all were guarded day and night. How could Paul escape without being killed? (2 Corinthians 11:32-33). – Slide 25
One night, Paul and some of his friends took a large basket and a long rope and crept carefully to the wall where there was an opening. Paul took the basket with him and climbed up to the opening. – Slide 26
He crawled through the opening, tied the rope to the basket then sat in it. His friends held tightly to the other end of the rope at the other side of the wall. – Slide 27
Paul's friends now slowly released the rope... – Slide 28
… so that slowly and surely... – Slide 29
… Paul was lowered to the ground. – Slide 30
He was finally able to get out of the basket and escape from Damascus. – Slide 31
His friends on the inside were very happy to have saved Paul’s life and crept back to their homes. – Slide 32
Paul, thankful to God, went to many different places to preach about Jesus, the Son of God, who came and died for our sins then rose to life. Many people became Christians after hearing Paul share this good news with them. – Slide 33
Slide 34