The Judgment of Ananias and Sapphira
1Now, a man named Ananias and his wife, Sapphira, # 5:1 The Aramaic can be translated “Ananias, together with his wife, who was famous for her beauty.” The Aramaic name Shapeera means “beauty.” likewise sold their farm. 2They conspired to secretly keep back for themselves a portion of the proceeds. So when Ananias brought the money to the apostles, it was only a portion of the entire sale. 3God revealed their secret to Peter, # 5:3 With supernatural discernment, God revealed to Peter what had happened. The words “pretended to give it all” are not in the original text, but supplied because of the inference of the words “lie to the Holy Spirit.” The true sin was more than simply telling Peter a lie, but lying to the Holy Spirit. so he said to him, “Ananias, why did you let Satan fill your heart and make you think you could lie to the Holy Spirit? You only pretended to give it all, yet you hid back part of the proceeds from the sale of your property to keep for yourselves. 4Before you sold it, wasn’t it yours to sell or to keep? And after you sold it, wasn’t the money entirely at your disposal? How could you plot such a thing in your heart? You haven’t lied to people; you’ve lied to God!” # 5:4 The Aramaic can be translated “You are not a phony with just men, but with God.”
5The moment Ananias heard those words, he fell over dead. Everyone was terrified when they heard what had happened. 6Some young men came in and removed the body and buried him.
7Three hours later, his wife came into the room, with no clue what had happened to her husband.
8Peter said to her, “Tell me, were the two of you paid this amount for the sale of your land?”
Sapphira said, “Yes, that’s how much it was.”
9Peter told her, “Why have you agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? # 5:9 The Aramaic is “the Spirit of the Lord Yahweh.” I hear the footsteps of those who buried your husband at the door—they’re coming here to bury you too!” 10At that moment she dropped dead at Peter’s feet.
When the young men came in, she was already dead, so they carried her out and buried her next to her husband. 11The entire church was seized with a powerful sense of the fear of God, # 5:11 Or “mega-fear fell on the church.” which came over all who heard what had happened.
The Apostles Perform Miracles, Signs, and Wonders
12The apostles performed many signs, wonders, and miracles among the people. 13And the believers were wonderfully united as they met regularly in the temple courts in the area known as Solomon’s Porch. No one dared harm them, # 5:13 As translated from the Aramaic. The Greek is “No one else dared join them,” which is somewhat confusing because of the next verse. for everyone held them in high regard.
14Continually more and more people believed in the Lord # 5:14 The Aramaic is “the Lord Yahweh.” and were added to their number—great crowds of both men and women. 15In fact, when people knew Peter was going to walk by, they carried the sick out to the streets and laid them down on cots and mats, knowing the incredible power emanating from him would overshadow them and heal them. # 5:15 The Greek word translated “overshadow” is episkiazo, which is used exclusively for the power of the Almighty “overshadowing,” such as with Mary, who conceived a child supernaturally by God. It is also used for the cloud that overshadowed Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. See Matt. 17:5; Mark 9:7; Luke 1:35. This was not a natural shadow created by the light of the sun, but the supernatural overshadowing of God’s power coming upon the sick to bring healing. 16Great numbers of people swarmed into Jerusalem from the nearby villages. They brought with them the sick and those troubled by demons—and everyone was healed!
The Apostles Persecuted
17The high priest and his officials, who formed the party of the Sadducees, became extremely jealous over all that was happening, 18so they had the apostles arrested, placed in chains, # 5:18 As translated from the Aramaic. and thrown into jail. 19But during the night, the Lord # 5:19 The Aramaic is “Lord Yahweh.” sent an angel who appeared before them. He supernaturally opened their prison doors and brought the apostles outside. 20“Go,” the angel told them. “Stand in the temple courts and preach the words that bring life!” 21So early that morning they entered the temple courts and taught the people. The high priest and his officials, unaware of their supernatural release from prison, convened the members of the supreme council. # 5:21 Or “the Sanhedrin.” They sent for the apostles to be brought to them from prison. 22But when the officers came to the prison cell, it was empty! They returned to the council and informed them, 23“We found the jail securely locked and the guards standing by their cell, but when we opened the door, there was no one inside!”
24When the captain of the temple guard and the leading priests heard this report, they were perplexed and at a loss over what to make of it.
25Someone came and informed them, “The men you put in prison are out there standing in the temple courts, teaching the people!”
26So the captain of the temple guard and his officers went to arrest them once again, but without using force, for they were afraid the people would stone them.
27When they brought them before the council, the high priest demanded an explanation, 28saying, “Didn’t we strictly warn you that you were to never again teach in this name? But instead you have now filled all of Jerusalem with this doctrine and are committed to holding us responsible for this man’s death!” # 5:28 Or “bringing [the guilt of] this man’s blood on us.”
29Peter and the apostles replied, “We must listen to and obey God more than pleasing religious leaders. 30You had Jesus arrested and killed by crucifixion, # 5:30 Or “by hanging him on a tree,” an Aramaic idiom for crucifixion. See Deut. 21:22–23. but the God of our forefathers # 5:30 See Ex. 3:15. has raised him up. 31He’s the one God has exalted and seated at his right hand as our Savior and Champion. # 5:31 Or “Prince.” He is the provider of grace as the Redeemer of Israel. # 5:31 As translated from the Aramaic. The Greek is “He gives repentance and removal of sins to Israel.” 32We are witnesses of these things, # 5:32 Or “words.” This is the Greek word rhema. and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God freely gives to all who believe in him.” # 5:32 As translated from the Aramaic. The Greek is “to those who hear and obey him.”
33When they heard this, they were infuriated and determined to murder them. 34But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a noted religious professor who was highly respected by all, stood up. He gave orders to send the apostles outside. 35Then he said to the council, “Men of Israel, you need to be very careful about how you deal with these men. 36Some time ago there was a man named Theudas who rose up claiming to be somebody. He had a following of about four hundred men, but when he was killed, all of his followers were scattered, and nothing came of it.
37“After him, in the days of the census, # 5:37 Or “registration for the Roman tax.” another man rose up, Judas the Galilean, who got people to follow him in a revolt. He too perished, and all those who followed him were scattered. 38So in this situation, you should just leave these men to themselves. For if this plan or undertaking originates with men, it will fade away and come to nothing. 39But if this movement is of God, you won’t be able to stop it. And you might discover that you were fighting God all along!”
Gamaliel’s words convinced the council. 40So they brought the apostles back in and had them severely beaten. They ordered them never again to speak in the name of Jesus and then let them go.
41The apostles left there rejoicing, thrilled that God had considered them worthy to suffer disgrace for the name of Jesus. 42And nothing stopped them! They kept preaching every day in the temple courts and went from house to house, preaching the gospel of Jesus, God’s Anointed One!