4
Peter and John before the Council
1Peter and John were still speaking to the people when some priests,#4.1: priests; some manuscripts have chief priests. the officer in charge of the Temple guards, and some Sadducees arrived. 2They were annoyed because the two apostles were teaching the people that Jesus had risen from death, which proved that the dead will rise to life. 3So they arrested them and put them in jail until the next day, since it was already late. 4But many who heard the message believed; and the number grew to about five thousand.
5The next day the Jewish leaders, the elders, and the teachers of the Law gathered in Jerusalem. 6They met with the High Priest Annas and with Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and the others who belonged to the High Priest's family. 7They made the apostles stand before them and asked them, “How did you do this? What power do you have or whose name did you use?”
8Peter, full of the Holy Spirit, answered them, “Leaders of the people and elders: 9if we are being questioned today about the good deed done to the lame man and how he was healed, 10then you should all know, and all the people of Israel should know, that this man stands here before you completely well through the power of the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth—whom you crucified and whom God raised from death. 11#Ps 118.22 Jesus is the one of whom the scripture says,
‘The stone that you the builders despised
turned out to be the most important of all.’
12Salvation is to be found through him alone; in all the world there is no one else whom God has given who can save us.”
13The members of the Council were amazed to see how bold Peter and John were and to learn that they were ordinary men of no education. They realized then that they had been companions of Jesus. 14But there was nothing that they could say, because they saw the man who had been healed standing there with Peter and John. 15So they told them to leave the Council room, and then they started discussing among themselves. 16“What shall we do with these men?” they asked. “Everyone in Jerusalem knows that this extraordinary miracle has been performed by them, and we cannot deny it. 17But to keep this matter from spreading any further among the people, let us warn these men never again to speak to anyone in the name of Jesus.”
18So they called them back in and told them that under no condition were they to speak or to teach in the name of Jesus. 19But Peter and John answered them, “You yourselves judge which is right in God's sight—to obey you or to obey God. 20For we cannot stop speaking of what we ourselves have seen and heard.” 21So the Council warned them even more strongly and then set them free. They saw that it was impossible to punish them, because the people were all praising God for what had happened. 22The man on whom this miracle of healing had been performed was over forty years old.
The Believers Pray for Boldness
23As soon as Peter and John were set free, they returned to their group and told them what the chief priests and the elders had said. 24#Ex 20.11Ne 9.6Ps 146.6 When the believers heard it, they all joined together in prayer to God: “Master and Creator of heaven, earth, and sea, and all that is in them! 25#Ps 2.12 (LXX) By means of the Holy Spirit you spoke through our ancestor David, your servant, when he said,
‘Why were the Gentiles furious;
why did people make their useless plots?
26The kings of the earth prepared themselves,
and the rulers met together
against the Lord and his Messiah.’
27 # Lk 23.7-11 Mt 27.12Mk 15.1Lk 23.1Jn 18.2829 For indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together in this city with the Gentiles and the people of Israel against Jesus, your holy Servant, whom you made Messiah. 28They gathered to do everything that you by your power and will had already decided would happen. 29And now, Lord, take notice of the threats they have made, and allow us, your servants, to speak your message with all boldness. 30Reach out your hand to heal, and grant that wonders and miracles may be performed through the name of your holy Servant Jesus.”
31When they finished praying, the place where they were meeting was shaken. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to proclaim God's message with boldness.
The Believers Share Their Possessions
32 # Ac 2.4445 The group of believers was one in mind and heart. None of them said that any of their belongings were their own, but they all shared with one another everything they had. 33With great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God poured rich blessings on them all. 34There was no one in the group who was in need. Those who owned fields or houses would sell them, bring the money received from the sale, 35and turn it over to the apostles; and the money was distributed according to the needs of the people.
36And so it was that Joseph, a Levite born in Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means “One who Encourages”), 37sold a field he owned, brought the money, and turned it over to the apostles.
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