Bible: Acts 4-5

The Arrest and Trial of Peter and John

4:1 While Peter and John 1  were speaking to the people, the priests and the commander 2  of the temple guard 3  and the Sadducees 4  came up 5  to them, 4:2 angry 6  because they were teaching the people and announcing 7  in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. 4:3 So 8  they seized 9  them and put them in jail 10  until the next day (for it was already evening). 4:4 But many of those who had listened to 11  the message 12  believed, and the number of the men 13  came to about five thousand.

4:5 On the next day, 14  their rulers, elders, and experts in the law 15  came together 16  in Jerusalem. 17  4:6 Annas the high priest was there, and Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and others who were members of the high priest’s family. 18  4:7 After 19  making Peter and John 20  stand in their midst, they began to inquire, “By what power or by what name 21  did you do this? 4:8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, 22  replied, 23 Rulers of the people and elders, 24  4:9 if 25  we are being examined 26  today for a good deed 27  done to a sick man – by what means this man was healed 28  4:10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ 29  the Nazarene whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, this man stands before you healthy. 4:11 This Jesus 30  is the stone that was rejected by you, 31  the builders, that has become the cornerstone. 32  4:12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among people 33  by which we must 34  be saved.”

4:13 When they saw the boldness 35  of Peter and John, and discovered 36  that they were uneducated 37  and ordinary 38  men, they were amazed and recognized these men had been with Jesus. 4:14 And because they saw the man who had been healed standing with them, they had nothing to say against this. 39  4:15 But when they had ordered them to go outside the council, 40  they began to confer with one another, 4:16 saying, “What should we do with these men? For it is plain 41  to all who live in Jerusalem that a notable miraculous sign 42  has come about through them, 43  and we cannot deny it. 4:17 But to keep this matter from spreading any further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more 44  to anyone in this name.” 4:18 And they called them in and ordered 45  them not to speak or teach at all in the name 46  of Jesus. 4:19 But Peter and John replied, 47 Whether it is right before God to obey 48  you rather than God, you decide, 4:20 for it is impossible 49  for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard.” 4:21 After threatening them further, they released them, for they could not find how to punish them on account of the people, because they were all praising 50  God for what had happened. 4:22 For the man, on whom this miraculous sign 51  of healing had been performed, 52  was over forty years old.

The Followers of Jesus Pray for Boldness

4:23 When they were released, Peter and John 53  went to their fellow believers 54  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 55  and said, “Master of all, 56  you who made the heaven, the earth, 57  the sea, and everything that is in them, 4:25 who said by the Holy Spirit through 58  your servant David our forefather, 59 

Why do the nations 60  rage, 61 

and the peoples plot foolish 62  things?

4:26 The kings of the earth stood together, 63 

and the rulers assembled together,

against the Lord and against his 64  Christ.’ 65 

4:27For indeed both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, assembled together in this city against 66  your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, 67  4:28 to do as much as your power 68  and your plan 69  had decided beforehand 70  would happen. 4:29 And now, Lord, pay attention to 71  their threats, and grant 72  to your servants 73  to speak your message 74  with great courage, 75  4:30 while you extend your hand to heal, and to bring about miraculous signs 76  and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 4:31 When 77  they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken, 78  and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak 79  the word of God 80  courageously. 81 

Conditions Among the Early Believers

4:32 The group of those who believed were of one heart and mind, 82  and no one said that any of his possessions was his own, but everything was held in common. 83  4:33 With 84  great power the apostles were giving testimony 85  to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was on them all. 4:34 For there was no one needy 86  among them, because those who were owners of land or houses were selling 87  them 88  and bringing the proceeds from the sales 4:35 and placing them at the apostlesfeet. The proceeds 89  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), 90  4:37 sold 91  a field 92  that belonged to him and brought the money 93  and placed it at the apostlesfeet.

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 94  kept back for himself part of the proceeds with his wife’s knowledge; he brought 95  only part of it and placed it at the apostlesfeet. 5:3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled 96  your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back for yourself part of the proceeds from the sale of 97  the land? 5:4 Before it was sold, 98  did it not 99  belong to you? And when it was sold, was the money 100  not at your disposal? How have you thought up this deed in your heart? 101  You have not lied to people 102  but to God!

5:5 When Ananias heard these words he collapsed and died, and great fear gripped 103  all who heard about it. 5:6 So the young men came, 104  wrapped him up, 105  carried him out, and buried 106  him. 5:7 After an interval of about three hours, 107  his wife came in, but she did not know 108  what had happened. 5:8 Peter said to her, “Tell me, were the two of you 109  paid this amount 110  for the land?” Sapphira 111  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 112  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 113  fear gripped 114  the whole church 115  and all who heard about these things.

The Apostles Perform Miraculous Signs and Wonders

5:12 Now many miraculous signs 116  and wonders came about among the people through the hands of the apostles. By 117  common consent 118  they were all meeting together in Solomon’s Portico. 119  5:13 None of the rest dared to join them, 120  but the people held them in high honor. 121  5:14 More and more believers in the Lord were added to their number, 122  crowds of both men and women. 5:15 Thus 123  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 124  also came together, bringing the sick and those troubled by unclean spirits. 125  They 126  were all 127  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 128 ), 129  and they were filled with jealousy. 130  5:18 They 131  laid hands on 132  the apostles and put them in a public jail. 5:19 But during the night an angel of the Lord 133  opened 134  the doors of the prison, 135  led them out, 136  and said, 5:20 Go and stand in the temple courts 137  and proclaim 138  to the people all the words of this life.” 5:21 When they heard this, they entered the temple courts 139  at daybreak and began teaching. 140 

Now when the high priest and those who were with him arrived, they summoned the Sanhedrin 141 that is, the whole high council 142  of the Israelites 143 and sent to the jail to have the apostles 144  brought before them. 145  5:22 But the officers 146  who came for them 147  did not find them in the prison, so they returned and reported, 148  5:23 We found the jail locked securely and the guards standing at the doors, but when we opened them, 149  we found no one inside.” 5:24 Now when the commander 150  of the temple guard 151  and the chief priests heard this report, 152  they were greatly puzzled concerning it, 153  wondering what this could 154  be. 5:25 But someone came and reported to them, “Look! The men you put in prison are standing in the temple courts 155  and teaching 156  the people! 5:26 Then the commander 157  of the temple guard 158  went with the officers 159  and brought the apostles 160  without the use of force 161  (for they were afraid of being stoned by the people). 162 

5:27 When they had brought them, they stood them before the council, 163  and the high priest questioned 164  them, 5:28 saying, “We gave 165  you strict orders 166  not to teach in this name. 167  Look, 168  you have filled Jerusalem 169  with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood 170  on us! 5:29 But Peter and the apostles replied, 171 We must obey 172  God rather than people. 173  5:30 The God of our forefathers 174  raised up Jesus, whom you seized and killed by hanging him on a tree. 175  5:31 God exalted him 176  to his right hand as Leader 177  and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 178  5:32 And we are witnesses of these events, 179  and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey 180  him.”

5:33 Now when they heard this, they became furious 181  and wanted to execute them. 182  5:34 But a Pharisee 183  whose name was Gamaliel, 184  a teacher of the law who was respected by all the people, stood up 185  in the council 186  and ordered the men to be put outside for a short time. 5:35 Then he said to the council, 187 Men of Israel, 188  pay close attention to 189  what you are about to do to these men. 5:36 For some time ago 190  Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men joined him. He 191  was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and nothing came of it. 192  5:37 After him Judas the Galilean arose in the days of the census, 193  and incited people to follow him in revolt. 194  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, 195  it will come to nothing, 196  5:39 but if 197  it is from God, you will not be able to stop them, or you may even be found 198  fighting against God.” He convinced them, 199  5:40 and they summoned the apostles and had them beaten. 200  Then 201  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 202  to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name. 203  5:42 And every day both in the temple courts 204  and from house to house, they did not stop teaching and proclaiming the good news 205  that Jesus was the Christ. 206 

NET Bible Study Environment