Peter condemns Ananias and Sapphira
1Ananias and his wife Sapphira also sold a piece of property. 2But they agreed to cheat and keep some of the money for themselves.
So when Ananias took the rest of the money to the apostles, 3Peter said, “Why has Satan made you keep back some of the money from the sale of the property? Why have you lied to the Holy Spirit? 4The property was yours before you sold it, and even after you sold it, the money was still yours. What made you do such a thing? You didn't lie to people. You lied to God!”
5As soon as Ananias heard this, he dropped dead, and everyone who heard about it was frightened. 6Some young men came in and wrapped up his body. Then they took it out and buried it.
7Three hours later Sapphira came in, but she did not know what had happened to her husband. 8Peter asked her, “Tell me, did you sell the property for this amount?”
“Yes,” she answered, “that's the amount.”
9Then Peter said, “Why did the two of you agree to test the Lord's Spirit? The men who buried Ananias are by the door, and they will carry you out!” 10At once she fell at Peter's feet and died.
When the young men came back in, they found Sapphira lying there dead. So they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11The church members were afraid, and so was everyone else who heard what had happened.
Peter's unusual power
12The apostles performed many miracles and wonders among the people. All the Lord's followers often met in the part of the temple known as Solomon's Porch.#5.12 Solomon's Porch: See the note at 3.11. 13No one outside their group dared join them, even though everyone liked them very much.
14Many men and women started having faith in the Lord. 15Then sick people were brought out to the road and placed on stretchers and mats. It was hoped that Peter would walk by, and his shadow would fall on them and heal them. 16A lot of people living in the towns near Jerusalem brought those who were sick or troubled by evil spirits, and they were all healed.
Trouble for the apostles
17The high priest and all the other Sadducees who were with him became jealous. 18They arrested the apostles and put them in the city jail. 19But that night an angel from the Lord opened the doors of the jail and led the apostles out. The angel said, 20“Go to the temple and tell the people everything about this new life.” 21So they went into the temple before sunrise and started teaching.
The high priest and his men called together their council, which included all Israel's leaders. Then they ordered the apostles to be brought to them from the jail. 22The temple police who were sent to the jail did not find the apostles. They returned and said, 23“We found the jail locked tight and the guards standing at the doors. But when we opened the doors and went in, we didn't find anyone there.” 24The captain of the temple police and the chief priests listened to their report, but they did not know what to think about it.
25Just then someone came in and said, “Now those men you put in jail are in the temple, teaching the people!” 26The captain went with some of the temple police and brought the apostles back. But they did not use force. They were afraid that the people might start throwing stones at them.
27When the apostles were brought before the council, the high priest said to them, 28“We told you plainly not to teach in the name of Jesus. But look what you have done! You have been teaching all over Jerusalem, and you are trying to blame us for his death.”#Mt 27.25.
29Peter and the apostles replied:
We don't obey people. We obey God. 30You killed Jesus by nailing him to a cross. But the God our ancestors worshipped raised him to life 31and made him our Leader and Saviour. Then God gave him a place at his right side,#5.31 right side: See the note at 2.33. so that the people of Israel would turn back to him and be forgiven. 32We are here to tell you about all this, and so is the Holy Spirit, who is God's gift to everyone who obeys God.
33When the council members heard this, they became so angry that they wanted to kill the apostles. 34But one of the members was the Pharisee Gamaliel, a highly respected teacher. He ordered the apostles to be taken out of the room for a little while. 35Then he said to the council:
People of Israel, be careful what you do with these men. 36Not long ago Theudas claimed to be someone important, and about four hundred men joined him. But he was killed. All his followers were scattered, and that was the end of that.
37Later, when the people of our nation were being counted, Judas from Galilee appeared. A lot of people followed him, but he was killed, and all his followers were scattered.
38So I advise you to stay away from these men. Leave them alone. If what they are planning is something of their own doing, it will fail. 39But if God is behind it, you cannot stop it anyway, unless you want to fight against God.
The council members agreed with what he said, 40and they called the apostles back in. They had them beaten with a whip and warned them not to speak in the name of Jesus. Then they let them go.
41The apostles left the council and were happy, because God had considered them worthy to suffer for the sake of Jesus. 42Every day they spent time in the temple and in one home after another. They never stopped teaching and telling the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.