Growth & Persecution

Acts 3:1-5:11

31Peter and John were going up into the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour.* 2A certain man who was lame from his mother’s womb was being carried, whom they laid daily at the door of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask gifts for the needy of those who entered into the temple. 3Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive gifts for the needy. 4Peter, fastening his eyes on him, with John, said,

SIMON PETER

Look at us.

5He listened to them, expecting to receive something from them. 6But Peter said,

SIMON PETER

Silver and gold have I none, but what I have, that I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, get up and walk!

7He took him by the right hand, and raised him up. Immediately his feet and his ankle bones received strength. 8Leaping up, he stood, and began to walk. He entered with them into the temple, walking, leaping, and praising God. 9All the people saw him walking and praising God. 10They recognized him, that it was he who used to sit begging for gifts for the needy at the Beautiful Gate of the temple. They were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. 11As the lame man who was healed held on to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them in the porch that is called Solomon’s, greatly wondering.
12When Peter saw it, he responded to the people,

SIMON PETER

You men of Israel, why do you marvel at this man? Why do you fasten your eyes on us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made him walk? 13The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his Servant Jesus, whom you delivered up, and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had determined to release him. 14But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, to which we are witnesses. 16By faith in his name, his name has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which is through him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.
17Now, brothers,* I know that you did this in ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18But the things which God announced by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he thus fulfilled.
19Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, so that there may come times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord, 20and that he may send Christ Jesus, who was ordained for you before, 21whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God spoke long ago by the mouth of his holy prophets. 22For Moses indeed said to the fathers, ‘The Lord God will raise up a prophet for you from among your brothers, like me. You shall listen to him in all things whatever he says to you. 23It will be that every soul that will not listen to that prophet will be utterly destroyed from among the people.’* 24Yes, and all the prophets from Samuel and those who followed after, as many as have spoken, they also told of these days. 25You are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘In your offspring* will all the families of the earth be blessed.’* 26God, having raised up his servant Jesus, sent him to you first to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your wickedness.

41As they spoke to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came to them, 2being upset because they taught the people and proclaimed in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. 3They laid hands on them, and put them in custody until the next day, for it was now evening. 4But many of those who heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.
5In the morning, their rulers, elders, and scribes were gathered together in Jerusalem. 6Annas the high priest was there, with Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and as many as were relatives of the high priest. 7When they had stood them in the middle of them, they inquired,

JEWISH LEADERS

By what power, or in what name, have you done this?

8Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them,

SIMON PETER

You rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, 9if we are examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, 10be it known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, in him does this man stand here before you whole. 11He is ‘the stone which was regarded as worthless by you, the builders, which has become the head of the corner.’* 12There is salvation in none other, for neither is there any other name under heaven, that is given among men, by which we must be saved!

13Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and had perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled. They recognized that they had been with Jesus. 14Seeing the man who was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. 15But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, 16saying,

JEWISH LEADERS

What shall we do to these men? Because indeed a notable miracle has been done through them, as can be plainly seen by all who dwell in Jerusalem, and we can’t deny it. 17But so that this spreads no further among the people, let’s threaten them, that from now on they don’t speak to anyone in this name.

18They called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.
19But Peter and John answered them,

SIMON PETER & JOHN THE DISCIPLE

Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, judge for yourselves, 20for we can’t help telling the things which we saw and heard.

21When they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way to punish them, because of the people; for everyone glorified God for that which was done. 22For the man on whom this miracle of healing was performed was more than forty years old.
23Being let go, they came to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24When they heard it, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said,

BELIEVERS IN JERUSALEM

O Lord, you are God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all that is in them; 25who by the mouth of your servant, David, said,
‘Why do the nations rage,
and the peoples plot a vain thing?
26The kings of the earth take a stand,
and the rulers take council together,
against the Lord, and against his Christ.’**
27For truly, in this city against your holy servant, Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together 28to do whatever your hand and your council foreordained to happen. 29Now, Lord, look at their threats, and grant to your servants to speak your word with all boldness, 30while you stretch out your hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of your holy Servant Jesus.

31When they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were gathered together. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness. 32The multitude of those who believed were of one heart and soul. Not one of them claimed that anything of the things which he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. 33With great power, the apostles gave their testimony of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. Great grace was on them all. 34For neither was there among them any who lacked, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, 35and laid them at the apostles’ feet, and distribution was made to each, according as anyone had need. 36Joses, who by the apostles was also called Barnabas (which is, being interpreted, Son of Encouragement), a Levite, a man of Cyprus by race, 37having a field, sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
51But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira, his wife, sold a possession, 2and kept back part of the price, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet. 3But Peter said,

SIMON PETER

Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back part of the price of the land? 4While you kept it, didn’t it remain your own? After it was sold, wasn’t it in your power? How is it that you have conceived this thing in your heart? You haven’t lied to men, but to God.

5Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and died. Great fear came on all who heard these things. 6The young men arose and wrapped him up, and they carried him out and buried him. 7About three hours later, his wife, not knowing what had happened, came in. 8Peter answered her,

SIMON PETER

Tell me whether you sold the land for so much.

She said,

SAPPHIRA

Yes, for so much.

9But Peter asked her,

SIMON PETER

How is it that you have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.

10She fell down immediately at his feet, and died. The young men came in and found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her by her husband. 11Great fear came on the whole assembly, and on all who heard these things.

*Acts 3:1 3:00 PM
*Acts 3:17 The word for “brothers” here may be also correctly translated “brothers and sisters” or “siblings.”
*Acts 3:23 Deuteronomy 18:15,18-19
*Acts 3:25 or, seed
*Acts 3:25 Genesis 22:18; 26:4
*Acts 4:11 Psalm 118:22
*Acts 4:26 Christ (Greek) and Messiah (Hebrew) both mean Anointed One.
*Acts 4:26 Psalm 2:1-2

LEARNING FROM THE PAST

  • With which character do you most identify in this passage? Why?
  • What strengths and/or weaknesses do you see in this character in this passage?
  • What do you think God was wanting do in the life of your selected character?
  • What do you think God is wanting to do in your life as you reflect on this passage? How can you cooperate with his loving purposes this week?
World English Bible (WEB)
a Public Domain Modern English translation
of the Holy Bible.

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