Before his conversion, Paul (or Saul, as he is sometimes called in Acts) was a Jew who was zealously seeking out those who followed Jesus to throw them into prison (Acts 8:1-3). He had obtained permission from the High Priest to go to Damascus to arrest any believers he found there and bring them to Jerusalem. But as Paul was traveling to Damascus, the resurrected Jesus appeared to him, and Paul became blind. He was led the rest of the way to Damascus, where a believer named Ananias laid hands on him and healed his sight. After spending some time with the disciples in Damascus, Paul began to preach in the synagogues there that Jesus was the Messiah. Paul also mentions in Galatians 1:17 that he went to Arabia for a time and then returned to Damascus. Sometime after this Paul discovered that the Jews were planning to kill him, but his disciples helped him escaped through an opening in the city wall. Paul traveled to Jerusalem, where he met with the church leaders and began preaching boldly in the name of Jesus. When another plot on Paul’s life was discovered, the believers took him to Caesarea and sent him to his hometown of Tarsus in Cilicia.