Peter and John Arrested
4 And while Peter and John were talking to the people, the priests and the captain [who was in charge of the temple area and] of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to them, 2 being extremely disturbed and thoroughly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in [the case of] Jesus the resurrection of the dead. 3 So they arrested them and put them in jail until the next day, because it was evening. 4 But many of those who heard the message [of salvation] believed [in Jesus and accepted Him as the Christ]. And the number of the men came to be about 5,000.
5 On the next day, their magistrates and elders and scribes (Sanhedrin, Jewish High Court) were gathered together in Jerusalem; 6 and [a]Annas the high priest was there, and [b]Caiaphas and [c]John and Alexander, and all others who were of high-priestly descent. 7 When they had put the men in [d]front of them, they repeatedly asked, “By what sort of power, or in what name [that is, by what kind of authority], did you do this [healing]?” 8 Then Peter, filled with [the power of] the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of the people [members of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish High Court], 9 if we are being put on trial today [to interrogate us] for a good deed done to [benefit] a disabled man, as to how this man has been restored to health, 10 let it be known and clearly understood by all of you, and by all the people of Israel, that in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you [demanded be] crucified [by the Romans and], whom God raised from the dead—in this name [that is, by the authority and power of Jesus] this man stands here before you in good health. 11 This Jesus is the stone which was despised and rejected by you, the builders, but which became the [e]chief Cornerstone.(A) 12 And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among people by which we must be saved [for God has provided the world no alternative for salvation].”
Threat and Release
13 Now when the men of the Sanhedrin (Jewish High Court) saw the confidence and boldness of Peter and John, and grasped the fact that they were [f]uneducated and untrained [ordinary] men, they were astounded, and began to recognize that they had been with Jesus. 14 And seeing the man who had been healed standing there with them, they had nothing to say in reply. 15 But after ordering them to step out of the Council [chamber], they began to confer among themselves, 16 saying, “What are we to do with these men? For the fact that an extraordinary miracle has taken place through them is public knowledge and clearly evident to all the residents of Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. 17 But to keep it from spreading further among the people and the nation, let us [sternly] warn them not to speak again to anyone in this name.” 18 So they sent for them, and commanded them not to speak [as His representatives] or teach at all in the name of Jesus [using Him as their authority]. 19 But Peter and John replied to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you and obey you rather than God, you must judge [for yourselves]; 20 for we, on our part, cannot stop telling [people] about what we have seen and heard.” 21 When the rulers and Council members had threatened them further, they let them go, finding no way to punish them because [of their fear] of the people, for they were all praising and glorifying and honoring God for what had happened; 22 for the man to whom this sign (attesting miracle) of healing had happened was more than forty years old.
23 After Peter and John were released, they returned to their own [people] and reported everything that the chief priests and elders had said to them. 24 And when they heard it, they raised their voices together to God and said, “O Sovereign Lord [having complete power and authority], it is You who made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything that is in them,(B) 25 who by the Holy Spirit, through the mouth of our father David, Your servant, said,
‘Why did the nations (Gentiles) become arrogant and rage,
And the peoples devise futile things [against the Lord]?
‘The kings of the earth took their stand [to attack],
And the rulers were assembled together
Against the Lord and against His Anointed (the Christ, the Messiah).’(C)
27 For in this city there were gathered together against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined [before the creation of the world] to occur [and so without knowing it, they served Your own purpose]. 29 And now, Lord, observe their threats [take them into account] and grant that Your bond-servants may declare Your message [of salvation] with great confidence, 30 while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders (attesting miracles) take place through the name [and the authority and power] of Your holy Servant and Son Jesus.” 31 And when they had prayed, the place where they were meeting together was shaken [a sign of God’s presence]; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness and courage.
Sharing among Believers
32 Now the company of believers was of one heart and soul, and not one [of them] claimed that anything belonging to him was [exclusively] his own, but everything was common property and for the use of all. 33 And with great ability and power the apostles were continuously testifying to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace [God’s remarkable lovingkindness and favor and goodwill] rested richly upon them all. 34 There was not a needy person among them, because those who were owners of land or houses were selling them, and bringing the proceeds of the sales 35 and placing the money down at the apostles’ feet. Then it was distributed to each as anyone had need.
36 Now Joseph, a Levite and native of Cyprus, who was surnamed [g]Barnabas by the apostles (which translated means Son of Encouragement), 37 sold a field belonging to him and brought the money and set it at the apostles’ feet.
- Acts 4:6 Annas served as high priest a.d. 6-15. He was removed from the position by Rome, but continued to be extremely influential and was regarded by the Jews as de facto high priest even though others (his sons and son-in-law) officially held the office.
- Acts 4:6 Caiaphas (Annas’ son-in-law) served as high priest a.d. 18-36.
- Acts 4:6 Perhaps this is Jonathan, one of Annas’ sons.
- Acts 4:7 The Sanhedrin sat in a semi-circle.
- Acts 4:11 The cornerstone is the supreme foundation stone governing the structure of the entire building. All other stones will be set in reference to this stone.
- Acts 4:13 They had no formal religious training in the rabbinical schools.
- Acts 4:36 Barnabas becomes a prominent figure in the book of Acts (9:27; 11:22-30; 13:1-14:28, etc.), and it may be for that reason that Luke briefly mentions him here, telling the reader how Barnabas came to be associated with the apostles.