a Bible passage

Click a verse to see commentary
Select a resource above

Peter and John before the Council


While Peter and John were speaking to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came to them, 2much annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming that in Jesus there is the resurrection of the dead. 3So they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. 4But many of those who heard the word believed; and they numbered about five thousand.

5 The next day their rulers, elders, and scribes assembled in Jerusalem, 6with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. 7When they had made the prisoners stand in their midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” 8Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, 9if we are questioned today because of a good deed done to someone who was sick and are asked how this man has been healed, 10let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that this man is standing before you in good health by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead. 11This Jesus is

‘the stone that was rejected by you, the builders;

it has become the cornerstone.’

12 There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved.”

13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated and ordinary men, they were amazed and recognized them as companions of Jesus. 14When they saw the man who had been cured standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition. 15So they ordered them to leave the council while they discussed the matter with one another. 16They said, “What will we do with them? For it is obvious to all who live in Jerusalem that a notable sign has been done through them; we cannot deny it. 17But to keep it from spreading further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to anyone in this name.” 18So they called them and ordered them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in God’s sight to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge; 20for we cannot keep from speaking about what we have seen and heard.” 21After threatening them again, they let them go, finding no way to punish them because of the people, for all of them praised God for what had happened. 22For the man on whom this sign of healing had been performed was more than forty years old.

The Believers Pray for Boldness

23 After they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24When they heard it, they raised their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth, the sea, and everything in them, 25it is you who said by the Holy Spirit through our ancestor David, your servant:

‘Why did the Gentiles rage,

and the peoples imagine vain things?


The kings of the earth took their stand,

and the rulers have gathered together

against the Lord and against his Messiah.’

27 For in this city, in fact, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, 28to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. 29And now, 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 signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31When they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness.

The Believers Share Their Possessions

32 Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. 33With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. 34There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. 35They laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. 36There was a Levite, a native of Cyprus, Joseph, to whom the apostles gave the name Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”). 37He sold a field that belonged to him, then brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

25. Who by the mouth of David. They descend now into the second member, that they ask nothing but that which God hath promised to perform, so that his will and power are joined together, to the end they may fully assure themselves that they shall obtain their requests; and because the kingdom of Christ is now in hand, they make rehearsal of the promise of God, wherein he promiseth to defend and maintain the same, so that when the whole world hath done what it can to overthrow it, yet all shall be in vain; and herein their godliness and sincere zeal, in that they are not so much careful for their own safety, as for the increasing and advancement of the kingdom of Christ.

Why have the Gentiles raged? We must need confess that David speaketh of himself, who after he was chosen king by the Lord, and anointed by Samuel the prophet, did enjoy the kingdom very hardly, 227227     “Per summas difficultates regno potitus est,” came to the kingdom through the greatest difficulties. because his enemies withstood him on every side. We know how the rulers and people conspired together with Saul and his family; after that the Philistines, and other strange enemies, despising him when he came newly to the crown, made war against him, striving who should begin first, wherefore it is not without cause that he complaineth that the kings rage and take counsel together, and that the people do go about divers things; nevertheless, because he knew that God was the supporter of his kingdom, he derideth their foolish enterprises, and affirmeth that they are vain; but because his kingdom was established, that it might be a figure or image of the kingdom of Christ, David doth not stay still in the shadow itself; but he apprehendeth the body, yea, the Holy Ghost, as the apostles do truly repeat the same, doth sharply reprove the foolish and ridiculous madness of the world, in that they dare invade the kingdom of Christ which God had esta-blished, as well in the person of David as of Christ himself. And this is a singular comfort, in that we hear that God is on our side, so long as we go on warfare under the kingdom of Christ. Hereby we may persuade ourselves, that howsoever all men, both high and low do wickedly conspire together against this kingdom, yet shall they not prevail, for what is all the whole world compared with God? But we must first of all know and assure ourselves of this, that God will continually maintain the kingdom of his Son, whereof he himself is the author, so that we may set his decree (which shall not be broken) against the rashness of men, that trusting to the help of his hand, we may not doubt to despise all the preparation and furniture of men, though they be terrible; and he doth diligently express how great the bands of the adversaries are; he saith, that they attempt all things, he doth also reckon up their counsels, lest any of these do terrify us. Furthermore, when as the Psalm teacheth, that the kingdom of Christ shall endure, maugre the heads of the adversaries, it doth also show that there shall be many adversaries, which shall endeavor to overthrow the same. On the one side, he bringeth in the kings raging, on the other, the people all out of quiet, 228228     “Tumultuantes,” in tumult. whereby he signifieth that all estates shall be offended at it; 229229     “Infensos illi,” hostile to it. and no marvel, because nothing is more contrary to the flesh than the spiritual sword of the gospel wherewith Christ killeth us, that he may make us obey him, (Romans 15:16.) Therefore, we must know this for a surety, that the kingdom of Christ shall never be quiet in the world, lest when we are to fight, we be afraid as at some strange thing.

VIEWNAME is study