Acts 4

1While Peter and John were speaking to the people, some men came to them. There were some Jewish priests, the captain of the soldiers that guarded the temple, and some Sadducees. 2They were upset because of what Peter and John were teaching the people. By telling people about Jesus, the two apostles were teaching that people will rise from death. 3The Jewish leaders grabbed Peter and John and put them in jail. It was already night, so they kept Peter and John in jail until the next day. 4But many of the people that heard Peter and John believed the things they said. There were now about 5,000 men in the group of believers. 5The next day the Jewish leaders, the older Jewish leaders, and the teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. 6Annas (the high priest), Caiaphas, John, and Alexander were there. Everyone from the high priest’s family was there. 7They made Peter and John stand before all the people there. The Jewish leaders asked them many times, “How did you make this crippled man well? What power did you use? With whose authority did you do this?” 8Then Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit. He said to them, “Leaders of the people and you older leaders: 9Are you questioning us today about the good thing that was done to this crippled man? Are you asking us what made him well? 10We want all of you and all the Jewish people to know that this man was made well by the power of Jesus Christ from Nazareth! You nailed Jesus to a cross. God raised him from death. This man was crippled, but he is now well. He is able to stand here before you because of the power of Jesus! 11Jesus is 'the stone that you builders thought was not important. But this stone has become the cornerstone.’ 12Jesus is the only One who can save people. His name is the only power in the world that has been given to save people. We must be saved through Jesus!” 13The Jewish leaders understood that Peter and John had no special training or education. But the leaders also saw that Peter and John were not afraid to speak. So the leaders were amazed. Then they realized that Peter and John had been with Jesus. 14They saw the crippled man standing there beside the two apostles. They saw that the man was healed. So they could say nothing against the apostles. 15The Jewish leaders told them to leave the meeting. Then the leaders talked to each other about what they should do. 16They said, “What shall we do with these men ˻(the apostles)˼? Every person in Jerusalem knows that they have done a great miracle. This is clear. We cannot say it is not true. 17But we must make them afraid to talk to people about this man ˻(Jesus)˼. Then this problem will not spread among the people.” 18So the Jewish leaders called Peter and John in again. They told the apostles not to say anything or to teach anything in the name of Jesus. 19But Peter and John answered them, “What do you think is right? What would God want? Should we obey you or God? 20We cannot be quiet. We must tell people about the things we saw and heard.” 21- 22The Jewish leaders could not find a way to punish the apostles, because all the people were praising God for what had been done. (This miracle was a proof from God. The man that was healed was more than 40 years old!) So the Jewish leaders warned the apostles again and let them go free. 23Peter and John left the meeting of Jewish leaders and went to their own group. They told the group everything that the leading priests and the older Jewish leaders had said to them. 24When the believers heard this, they all prayed to God. They all wanted the same thing. They prayed, “Master, you are the One who made the sky, the earth, the sea, and everything in the world. 25Our ancestor David was your servant. With the help of the Holy Spirit he wrote these words: 'Why are the nations shouting? Why are the people of the world planning things ˻against God˼? It is hopeless! 26The kings of the earth prepare themselves to fight, and the rulers all come together against the Lord ˻(God)˼ and against his Christ.’ 27These things really happened when Herod, Pontius Pilate, the nations, and the Jewish people all 'came together’ against Jesus here in Jerusalem. Jesus is your holy Servant. He is the One you ˻(God)˼ made to be the Christ. 28These people that 'came together’ against Jesus made your plan happen; it happened because of your power and your will. 29And now, Lord, listen to what they are saying. They are trying to make us afraid! Lord, we are your servants. Help us to speak the things you want us to say without fear. 30Help us to be brave by showing us your power: make sick people well, give proofs, and make miracles happen by the power of Jesus, your holy servant.” 31After the believers prayed, the place where they were meeting shook. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they continued to speak God’s message without fear. 32The group of believers were all the same in their thinking and in what they wanted. No person in the group said that the things he had were his own. Instead, they shared everything. 33With great power the apostles told the people that the Lord Jesus was truly raised from death. And God blessed all the believers very much. 34They all received the things they needed. Everyone that owned fields ˻(land)˼ or houses sold them for money. They brought the money 35and gave it to the apostles. Then each person was given the things he needed. 36One of the believers was named Joseph. The apostles called him Barnabas. (This name means “A person that helps others.”) He was a Levite born in Cyprus. 37Joseph owned a field. He sold the field, brought the money, and gave it to the apostles.

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