Acts of the Apostles 4
Peter and John before the Council
1While Peter and John were speaking to the people, they were confronted by the priests, the captain of the Temple guard, and some of the Sadducees. 2These leaders were very disturbed that Peter and John were teaching the people that through Jesus there is a resurrection of the dead. 3They arrested them and, since it was already evening, put them in jail until morning. 4But many of the people who heard their message believed it, so the number of men who believed now totaled about 5,000.
5The next day the council of all the rulers and elders and teachers of religious law met in Jerusalem. 6Annas the high priest was there, along with Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and other relatives of the high priest. 7They brought in the two disciples and demanded, “By what power, or in whose name, have you done this?”
8Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of our people, 9are we being questioned today because we’ve done a good deed for a crippled man? Do you want to know how he was healed? 10Let me clearly state to all of you and to all the people of Israel that he was healed by the powerful name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene,*4:10 Or Jesus Christ of Nazareth. the man you crucified but whom God raised from the dead. 11For Jesus is the one referred to in the Scriptures, where it says,
‘The stone that you builders rejected
has now become the cornerstone.’*4:11 Ps 118:22.
12There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”
13The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus. 14But since they could see the man who had been healed standing right there among them, there was nothing the council could say. 15So they ordered Peter and John out of the council chamber*4:15 Greek the Sanhedrin. and conferred among themselves.
16“What should we do with these men?” they asked each other. “We can’t deny that they have performed a miraculous sign, and everybody in Jerusalem knows about it. 17But to keep them from spreading their propaganda any further, we must warn them not to speak to anyone in Jesus’ name again.” 18So they called the apostles back in and commanded them never again to speak or teach in the name of Jesus.
19But Peter and John replied, “Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him? 20We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard.”
21The council then threatened them further, but they finally let them go because they didn’t know how to punish them without starting a riot. For everyone was praising God 22for this miraculous sign—the healing of a man who had been lame for more than forty years.
The Believers Pray for Courage
23As soon as they were freed, Peter and John returned to the other believers and told them what the leading priests and elders had said. 24When they heard the report, all the believers lifted their voices together in prayer to God: “O Sovereign Lord, Creator of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them—25you spoke long ago by the Holy Spirit through our ancestor David, your servant, saying,
‘Why were the nations so angry?
Why did they waste their time with futile plans?
26The kings of the earth prepared for battle;
the rulers gathered together
against the Lord
and against his Messiah.’*4:25-26 Or his anointed one; or his Christ. Ps 2:1-2.
27“In fact, this has happened here in this very city! For Herod Antipas, Pontius Pilate the governor, the Gentiles, and the people of Israel were all united against Jesus, your holy servant, whom you anointed. 28But everything they did was determined beforehand according to your will. 29And now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching your word. 30Stretch out your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
31After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of God with boldness.
The Believers Share Their Possessions
32All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had. 33The apostles testified powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God’s great blessing was upon them all. 34There were no needy people among them, because those who owned land or houses would sell them 35and bring the money to the apostles to give to those in need.
36For instance, there was Joseph, the one the apostles nicknamed Barnabas (which means “Son of Encouragement”). He was from the tribe of Levi and came from the island of Cyprus. 37He sold a field he owned and brought the money to the apostles.