Paul told the mob his story
Paul said, “You mob are Jewish, and I am Jewish. I respect you like you are my family. Please listen to me now while I tell you that I haven’t done anything wrong.”
All those people heard Paul talking to them in their own Hebrew language, so they settled down and became quiet, and they listened to him.
Then Paul said to them, I am a Jew, just like you. I was born in Tarsus, in Cilicia country, but I grew up here in Jerusalem. I was a young man here, and I learned all our laws. You know Gamaliyel. You know he is a really good teacher, right? Well, he taught me all the laws that Moses gave to our grand-fathers. And I wanted to always do everything God says, so I never broke any of those laws. I’m sure that all you mob properly follow those laws too.* And I used to hurt anyone that followed Jesus, all those people that belonged to the Jesus Way mob. Whenever I found them, I grabbed them and put them in jail. I did that to men and women. I wanted to kill those people.*
The big boss of our Jewish ceremonies knows that, and so do the other men that belong to our Jewish Leaders Council. They gave me letters to take to our Jewish countrymen in Damascus. Those letters said that it was all right for me to grab the Christians there, and tie them up, and bring them to Jerusalem, for our leaders here to punish them.
So I got some other men to join me, and we were going along the road to Damascus. In the middle of the day, we were getting close to Damascus, and suddenly a bright light from the sky shined all around me. The light was so bright that I fell down to the ground. Then I heard the voice of somebody talking to me from the sky. He said, ‘Saul. Saul. Why are you making trouble for me and hurting me?’
I asked him, ‘Who are you, boss?’
He said, ‘I am Jesus, from Nazareth. You are making trouble for me and hurting me.’
The men that were with me saw that very bright light, and they heard that voice, but they didn’t understand the words that the voice said to me. 10 Then I said, ‘What do you want me to do, boss?’
He said, ‘Get up and go into Damascus. A man there will tell you everything that I picked you to do.’ 11 That light was so bright it made me blind. I couldn’t see, so the men with me held my hand and took me into Damascus. 12 A Jewish man lived in that town. He respected God, and he properly followed our Jewish laws. His name was Ananias. All the Jewish people living in Damascus said that he was a good man. 13 He came to me and stood beside me, and he said to me, ‘My friend Saul, look up. You will see again now.’ So I looked up, and straight away, I could see again. And I saw him standing there beside me. 14 Then he said, ‘The God that we respect, and that our grand-fathers respected, he picked you, and he will show you everything he wants you to do. You will see the man that is properly good, and you will hear him talking to you. 15 He wants you to tell everyone that you saw him, and that you heard him talk to you. 16 So now, don’t wait. Stand up, and I will baptise you. Pray to our leader, Jesus, and ask him to wash you properly inside, so God will not punish you for all the bad things you did.’ That’s what Ananias said to me.”
Paul said that he had to go to people that are not Jews
17 Paul kept on talking to that mob. He said, “After that, I went back to Jerusalem. One day, I went to God’s ceremony house. While I was praying there, I had something like a dream. 18 I saw my leader, Jesus, and he was talking to me. He said, ‘Don’t stay here. Leave Jerusalem now. The people here will not believe anything you tell them about me.’
19 I said to him, ‘But, sir, they know me. They know that I went to a lot of our meeting houses looking for people that believe in you. I grabbed anyone that believed in you, and I beat them up, and I put them in jail. 20 The people here know about Stephen too. He told people about you, and they killed him. And I stood there watching them kill him, and I agreed with them. I even looked after the coats of the men that were killing him. The Jerusalem people know all that, so I reckon they will believe my story.’*
21 But our leader, Jesus, said to me, ‘No, don’t stay here. Leave Jerusalem. You see, I’m sending you a long way from here. I’m sending you to people that are not Jews.’ ”
22 The mob listened quietly to Paul until he said that. You see, they didn’t like the people that were not Jews, so when they heard him talk about those people, that mob got very angry. They started shouting, “Kill him. Don’t let this sort of man stay alive on this earth.”
Paul told the soldiers he was a Roman, so they didn’t whip him
23 The mob kept on shouting, “Kill him.” And they took off their coats, and they threw dirt into the air, to show that they were very angry.
24 So the big boss soldier told his soldiers, “Take Paul into your big house and hit him with a whip so he will tell us why that mob are shouting at him.”
The soldiers took Paul into their house, 25 then they stretched out his arms and tied them so that they could whip his back. But Paul talked to the boss soldier that was standing there. He said, “Wait. I’m a Jew, but I’m a Roman too. My name is on the list of all the Roman people. But you didn’t take me to court, and no judge said that I’m guilty, so if you whip me, you will be breaking the Roman law.”
26 That boss soldier heard what Paul said, then he went to the big boss soldier and told him about Paul. He said, “This man is not just a Jew, he is a Roman too. Do you really want us to whip him?”
27 The big boss soldier was shocked. He went to Paul and said, “Tell me, are you really a Roman?”
Paul said, “Yes, I am.”
28 Then the big boss soldier said, “I’m a Roman too. I paid a lot of money to get the men in a Roman office to write my name on the list of all the Roman people, to make me a Roman.”
Paul said, “I’ve been a Roman all my life. They wrote my name in that book as soon as I was born.”
29 Those soldiers that were going to whip Paul, they heard him say that he was a Roman, so they left him. The big boss soldier was frightened too. He remembered that he told the soldiers to tie Paul’s arms and whip him, and it was against the law for him to do that to a Roman.
The big boss soldier took Paul to the Jewish Leaders Council
30 The big boss over the soldiers still wanted to know why the Jewish leaders were blaming Paul, so the next day he talked to the bosses of the Jewish ceremonies, and to the other Jewish Leaders Council men. He told them to have a meeting. Then he took Paul to that meeting, and he took off his chains, and he told Paul to stand up in front of them, to listen to what they say, and to tell his story to answer them.
* 22:3 Acts 5:34-39 * 22:4 Acts 8:3; 26:9-11 * 22:20 Acts 7:58