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The Gift New Testament

A free online Bible study resource

Acts

4:1Now as they spoke to the people, they were opposed by the priests, the magistrate of the temple compound, and the Sadducees.4:2They were disturbed about what they were teaching the people, proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead.4:3So they seized them and put them into custody overnight, since it was already dusk.4:4Many of those who heard what was said believed, and the number of men grew to about five thousand.

4:5The next morning, the rulers, elders, and scripture scholars convened a meeting in Jerusalem.4:6In attendance were Annas the ruling priest, Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and whoever else was part of the ruling priest’s family.4:7They had Peter and John stand in front of them to be interrogated: “By what power or in what name do you do this?”

4:8Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, spoke to them: “Rulers of the people, and elders!4:9If we are on trial today because of an act of kindness to a crippled person, and by what means he was restored to health,4:10then let it be known to you and to all the people of Israel: it was in the name of Jesus the Anointed from Nazareth, the one you crucified and whom God raised from the dead— it was in this name that this one stands before you healed.4:11Jesus is ‘the stone that the builders discarded but which has become the cornerstone’.14:12And there is no restoration from anyone else; there is no other name under heaven given to people by which we must be saved.”

4:13They were surprised by the boldness of Peter and John, since they considered them to be uneducated peasants, but they noted that they had been with Jesus.4:14Yet they could not deny that the person who had been healed was standing right there.4:15So they ordered them to leave the Sanhedrin while they discussed their strategy:4:16“What can we do to these people? We cannot deny that a miracle was performed through them, and everyone in Jerusalem knows it.4:17But we must prevent this from spreading any more among the people, so we will threaten them that they must not speak any longer about this name to anyone.”

4:18So they called them back in and ordered them sternly to proclaim nothing and teach nothing concerning the name of Jesus.4:19But Peter and John retorted, “Judge for yourselves whether the right thing to do before God is to listen to you rather than to him!4:20We cannot help speaking about what we saw and heard.”

4:21The ones who were threatening them released them. They couldn’t devise a way to punish them since all the people were honoring God for what had happened,4:22and the person who received the miracle of healing was over forty years old.

4:23After their release they returned to their own people and reported what the ruling priests and elders had said to them.4:24Those who heard this lifted up their voices in unity to God and said, “Sovereign One— you who made the heaven, earth, sea, and all they contain—4:25you said by your Holy Spirit through the mouth of our ancestor David, your servant, ‘Why do the nations snarl, and why do the peoples mutter empty rhetoric?4:26The kings of the earth took their stand and the rulers gathered in one place, against the Master and against his Anointed’.

4:27“Herod and Pontius Pilate actually conspired in this city against your holy child Jesus, whom you anointed. They joined with both the non-Judeans and people of Israel,4:28to do whatever your might and counsel had already decreed to happen.4:29So now, Master, take note of their threats and grant that your slaves will speak your word boldly.4:30Stretch out your hand so that healings and great miracles occur through the name of your dear holy child Jesus.”

4:31As they asked this, the place where they were gathered was shaken and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with great boldness.

4:32Now the whole believing community was one in heart and soul; not one of them said their possessions were their own but shared everything.24:33And with great power the Ambassadors retold what they witnessed of the resurrection of Master Jesus. Much favor was upon them all,4:34and there was not one needy person among them, because whoever owned land or houses sold them4:35and placed the proceeds at the Ambassadors’ feet. Then the money was distributed to each according to their needs.

4:36Take Joseph for example (the Ambassadors called him Barnabas, which means Consoling); he was a Levite and a native of Cyprus.4:37He sold a field that belonged to him, then took the proceeds and placed them at the Ambassadors’ feet.

  1. 1Both “head of the corner“ and ”cornerstone“ are identical in meaning. Some take ”head of the corner“ as a capstone (finishing stone) or keystone (the uppermost stone that holds an arch in place). But the word ”corner” contradicts this, and no one would trip over an upper or finishing stone.
  2. 2This is not communism, since no one was forced to sell or give, as the following account of Ananias and Sapphira will say explicitly.