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Acts 4

Peter and John at the Council
1While Peter and John were speaking to the people, priests, the captain of the soldiers that guarded the Temple, and Sadducees came up to them. 2They were upset because the two apostles were teaching the people and were preaching that people will rise from the dead through the power of Jesus. 3The older leaders grabbed Peter and John and put them in jail. Since it was already night, they kept them in jail until the next day. 4But many of those who had heard Peter and John preach believed the things they said. There were now about five thousand in the group of believers.
5The next day the rulers, the elders, and the teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. 6Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander were there, as well as everyone from the high priest’s family. 7They made Peter and John stand before them and then asked them, “By what power or authority did you do this?”
8Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and you elders, 9are you questioning us about a good thing that was done to a crippled man? Are you asking us who made him well? 10We want all of you and all the people to know that this man was made well by the power of Jesus Christ from Nazareth. You crucified him, but God raised him from the dead. This man was crippled, but he is now well and able to stand here before you because of the power of Jesus. 11Jesus is
‘the stone that you builders rejected,
which has become the cornerstone.’#Psalm 118:22
12Jesus is the only One who can save people. No one else in the world is able to save us.”
13The leaders saw that Peter and John were not afraid to speak, and they understood that these men had no special training or education. So they were amazed. Then they realized that Peter and John had been with Jesus. 14Because they saw the healed man standing there beside the two apostles, they could say nothing against them. 15After the leaders ordered them to leave the meeting, they began to talk to each other. 16They said, “What shall we do with these men? Everyone in Jerusalem knows they have done a great miracle, and we cannot say it is not true. 17But to keep it from spreading among the people, we must warn them not to talk to people anymore using that name.”
18So they called Peter and John in again and told them not to speak or to teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19But Peter and John answered them, “You decide what God would want. Should we obey you or God? 20We cannot keep quiet. We must speak about what we have seen and heard.” 21The leaders warned the apostles again and let them go free. They could not find a way to punish them, because all the people were praising God for what had been done. 22The man who received the miracle of healing was more than forty years old.
The Believers Pray
23After Peter and John left the meeting of leaders, they went to their own group and told them everything the leading priests and the elders had said to them. 24When the believers heard this, they prayed to God together, “Lord, you are the One who made the sky, the earth, the sea, and everything in them. 25By the Holy Spirit, through our father David your servant, you said:
‘Why are the nations so angry?
Why are the people making useless plans?
26The kings of the earth prepare to fight,
and their leaders make plans together
against the Lord
and his Christ.’#Psalm 2:1–2
27These things really happened when Herod, Pontius Pilate, and some Jews and non-Jews all came together against Jesus here in Jerusalem. Jesus is your holy servant, the One you made to be the Christ. 28These people made your plan happen because of your power and your will. 29And now, Lord, listen to their threats. Lord, help us, your servants, to speak your word without fear. 30Show us your power to heal. Give proofs and make miracles happen by the power of Jesus, your holy servant.”
31After they had prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke God’s word without fear.
The Believers Share
32The group of believers were united in their hearts and spirit. All those in the group acted as though their private property belonged to everyone in the group. In fact, they shared everything. 33With great power the apostles were telling people that the Lord Jesus was truly raised from the dead. And God blessed all the believers very much. 34There were no needy people among them. From time to time those who owned fields or houses sold them, brought the money, 35and gave it to the apostles. Then the money was given to anyone who needed it.
36One of the believers was named Joseph, a Levite born in Cyprus. The apostles called him Barnabas (which means “one who encourages”). 37Joseph owned a field, sold it, brought the money, and gave it to the apostles.

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