Bible: Acts 4:23-5:42
The Followers of Jesus Pray for Boldness
4:23 When they were released, Peter and John 1 went to their fellow believers 2 and reported everything the high priests and the elders had said to them. 4:24 When they heard this, they raised their voices to God with one mind 3 and said, “Master of all, 4 you who made the heaven, the earth, 5 the sea, and everything that is in them, 4:25 who said by the Holy Spirit through 6 your servant David our forefather, 7
and the peoples plot foolish 10 things?
4:26 The kings of the earth stood together, 11
and the rulers assembled together,
4:27 “For indeed both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, assembled together in this city against 14 your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, 15 4:28 to do as much as your power 16 and your plan 17 had decided beforehand 18 would happen. 4:29 And now, Lord, pay attention to 19 their threats, and grant 20 to your servants 21 to speak your message 22 with great courage, 23 4:30 while you extend your hand to heal, and to bring about miraculous signs 24 and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 4:31 When 25 they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken, 26 and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak 27 the word of God 28 courageously. 29
Conditions Among the Early Believers
4:32 The group of those who believed were of one heart and mind, 30 and no one said that any of his possessions was his own, but everything was held in common. 31 4:33 With 32 great power the apostles were giving testimony 33 to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was on them all. 4:34 For there was no one needy 34 among them, because those who were owners of land or houses were selling 35 them 36 and bringing the proceeds from the sales 4:35 and placing them at the apostles’ feet. The proceeds 37 were distributed to each, as anyone had need. 4:36 So Joseph, a Levite who was a native of Cyprus, called by the apostles Barnabas (which is translated “son of encouragement”), 38 4:37 sold 39 a field 40 that belonged to him and brought the money 41 and placed it at the apostles’ feet.
The Judgment on Ananias and Sapphira
5:1 Now a man named Ananias, together with Sapphira his wife, sold a piece of property. 5:2 He 42 kept back for himself part of the proceeds with his wife’s knowledge; he brought 43 only part of it and placed it at the apostles’ feet. 5:3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled 44 your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back for yourself part of the proceeds from the sale of 45 the land? 5:4 Before it was sold, 46 did it not 47 belong to you? And when it was sold, was the money 48 not at your disposal? How have you thought up this deed in your heart? 49 You have not lied to people 50 but to God!”
5:5 When Ananias heard these words he collapsed and died, and great fear gripped 51 all who heard about it. 5:6 So the young men came, 52 wrapped him up, 53 carried him out, and buried 54 him. 5:7 After an interval of about three hours, 55 his wife came in, but she did not know 56 what had happened. 5:8 Peter said to her, “Tell me, were the two of you 57 paid this amount 58 for the land?” Sapphira 59 said, “Yes, that much.” 5:9 Peter then told her, “Why have you agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out!” 5:10 At once 60 she collapsed at his feet and died. So when the young men came in, they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 5:11 Great 61 fear gripped 62 the whole church 63 and all who heard about these things.
The Apostles Perform Miraculous Signs and Wonders
5:12 Now many miraculous signs 64 and wonders came about among the people through the hands of the apostles. By 65 common consent 66 they were all meeting together in Solomon’s Portico. 67 5:13 None of the rest dared to join them, 68 but the people held them in high honor. 69 5:14 More and more believers in the Lord were added to their number, 70 crowds of both men and women. 5:15 Thus 71 they even carried the sick out into the streets, and put them on cots and pallets, so that when Peter came by at least his shadow would fall on some of them. 5:16 A crowd of people from the towns around Jerusalem 72 also came together, bringing the sick and those troubled by unclean spirits. 73 They 74 were all 75 being healed.
Further Trouble for the Apostles
5:17 Now the high priest rose up, and all those with him (that is, the religious party of the Sadducees 76 ), 77 and they were filled with jealousy. 78 5:18 They 79 laid hands on 80 the apostles and put them in a public jail. 5:19 But during the night an angel of the Lord 81 opened 82 the doors of the prison, 83 led them out, 84 and said, 5:20 “Go and stand in the temple courts 85 and proclaim 86 to the people all the words of this life.” 5:21 When they heard this, they entered the temple courts 87 at daybreak and began teaching. 88
Now when the high priest and those who were with him arrived, they summoned the Sanhedrin 89 – that is, the whole high council 90 of the Israelites 91 – and sent to the jail to have the apostles 92 brought before them. 93 5:22 But the officers 94 who came for them 95 did not find them in the prison, so they returned and reported, 96 5:23 “We found the jail locked securely and the guards standing at the doors, but when we opened them, 97 we found no one inside.” 5:24 Now when the commander 98 of the temple guard 99 and the chief priests heard this report, 100 they were greatly puzzled concerning it, 101 wondering what this could 102 be. 5:25 But someone came and reported to them, “Look! The men you put in prison are standing in the temple courts 103 and teaching 104 the people!” 5:26 Then the commander 105 of the temple guard 106 went with the officers 107 and brought the apostles 108 without the use of force 109 (for they were afraid of being stoned by the people). 110
5:27 When they had brought them, they stood them before the council, 111 and the high priest questioned 112 them, 5:28 saying, “We gave 113 you strict orders 114 not to teach in this name. 115 Look, 116 you have filled Jerusalem 117 with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood 118 on us!” 5:29 But Peter and the apostles replied, 119 “We must obey 120 God rather than people. 121 5:30 The God of our forefathers 122 raised up Jesus, whom you seized and killed by hanging him on a tree. 123 5:31 God exalted him 124 to his right hand as Leader 125 and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 126 5:32 And we are witnesses of these events, 127 and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey 128 him.”
5:33 Now when they heard this, they became furious 129 and wanted to execute them. 130 5:34 But a Pharisee 131 whose name was Gamaliel, 132 a teacher of the law who was respected by all the people, stood up 133 in the council 134 and ordered the men to be put outside for a short time. 5:35 Then he said to the council, 135 “Men of Israel, 136 pay close attention to 137 what you are about to do to these men. 5:36 For some time ago 138 Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men joined him. He 139 was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and nothing came of it. 140 5:37 After him Judas the Galilean arose in the days of the census, 141 and incited people to follow him in revolt. 142 He too was killed, and all who followed him were scattered. 5:38 So in this case I say to you, stay away from these men and leave them alone, because if this plan or this undertaking originates with people, 143 it will come to nothing, 144 5:39 but if 145 it is from God, you will not be able to stop them, or you may even be found 146 fighting against God.” He convinced them, 147 5:40 and they summoned the apostles and had them beaten. 148 Then 149 they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus and released them. 5:41 So they left the council rejoicing because they had been considered worthy 150 to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name. 151 5:42 And every day both in the temple courts 152 and from house to house, they did not stop teaching and proclaiming the good news 153 that Jesus was the Christ. 154