1While Peter and John were speaking to the people, they were confronted by the priests, the captain of the Temple guard, and some of the Sadducees. 2These leaders were very disturbed that Peter and John were teaching the people that through Jesus there is a resurrection of the dead. 3They arrested them and, since it was already evening, put them in jail until morning. 4But many of the people who heard their message believed it, so the number of believers now totaled about 5,000 men, not counting women and children.
5The next day the council of all the rulers and elders and teachers of religious law met in Jerusalem. 6Annas the high priest was there, along with Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and other relatives of the high priest. 7They brought in the two disciples and demanded, “By what power, or in whose name, have you done this?”
8Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of our people, 9are we being questioned today because we’ve done a good deed for a crippled man? Do you want to know how he was healed? 10Let me clearly state to all of you and to all the people of Israel that he was healed by the powerful name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, the man you crucified but whom God raised from the dead. 11For Jesus is the one referred to in the Scriptures, where it says,
‘The stone that you builders rejected
12There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”
13The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus. 14But since they could see the man who had been healed standing right there among them, there was nothing the council could say. 15So they ordered Peter and John out of the council chamber and conferred among themselves.
16“What should we do with these men?” they asked each other. “We can’t deny that they have performed a miraculous sign, and everybody in Jerusalem knows about it. 17But to keep them from spreading their propaganda any further, we must warn them not to speak to anyone in Jesus’ name again.” 18So they called the apostles back in and commanded them never again to speak or teach in the name of Jesus.
19But Peter and John replied, “Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him? 20We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard.”
21The council then threatened them further, but they finally let them go because they didn’t know how to punish them without starting a riot. For everyone was praising God 22for this miraculous sign—the healing of a man who had been lame for more than forty years.
Respond: What happens in this story? How are the people’s lives and/or attitudes changed? Where do you see the action of the Holy Spirit? What do they do with the Holy Spirit’s power?