The Death of Ananias and Sapphira
(1) Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of private property. (2) With his wife’s full knowledge, Ananias kept some of the money for himself and gave the rest to the apostles.
(3) Then Peter said to him, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit by keeping some of the money you received from the sale of your land? (4) Didn’t the property belong to you before you sold it? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money yours? What made you think of doing such a thing? You haven’t just lied to humans but to God.”
(5) When Ananias heard Peter’s words, he fell down and died. And great fear came upon all who heard what had happened. (6) Then some young men came and wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.
(7) About three hours later his wife Sapphira came to Peter, not knowing what had happened to her husband. (8) Peter asked her, “Tell me the truth, is this the full price you and Ananias received for the sale of your land?” She said, “Yes, that’s the full price.” (9) Peter said to her, “Why have you conspired to test the Holy Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the young men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will also carry out your dead body.” (10) At that moment Sapphira fell down and died at Peter’s feet. Then the young men came in and carried her body out and buried her beside her husband.
(11) Great fear came upon the whole church and on everyone who heard what had happened.
The Jerusalem Church Grows
(12) The apostles did many miraculous signs and wonders (miracles) among the people. And all of Jesus’ disciples gathered together in Solomon’s Colonnade of the temple complex (see Acts 2:46, 3:11).
(13) Although Jesus’ disciples were highly regarded by the people, many of them were afraid to join them. (14) Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and the church grew in numbers. (15) As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on mats and pallets so that Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them when he walked by. (16) Crowds of people also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by demons (the demonized), and all of them were healed.
An Angel Frees Jesus’ Apostles
(17) Then the Jewish high priest (possibly Caiaphas, who oversaw Jesus’ trial) and all of his associates—members of the aristocratic Sadducee group—were filled with jealousy. (18) They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail. (19) But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the jail doors and led them out. (20) The angel told them, “Go, stand in the temple courts and tell the people all about this new life.” (21) Early in the morning, they entered the temple courts and began to teach the people, as the angel had told them.
When the high priest and his associates arrived that morning, they called together the Jewish governing council (the Sanhedrin, 70 members led by the high priest)—the full assembly of the elders of Israel—and sent a message to the jail to have the apostles brought before them. (22) But on arriving at the jail, the officers did not find them there. So they went back and said, (23) “We found the jail securely locked, with the guards standing in front of the doors; but when we went inside the jail we found it empty.” (24) On hearing this, the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests were confused, wondering what had happened and what this might lead to.
(25) Then someone came and said, “We have found the men you put in jail; they are standing in the temple courts teaching the people.”
Jesus’ Apostles Arrested Again
(26) At once the captain of the temple guard went with his officers and arrested the apostles and brought them back. But they did not use force, because they feared that the people would start throwing rocks at them.
(27) The apostles were brought before the Jewish governing council (the Sanhedrin) to be questioned by the high priest. (28) He said, “We gave you strict orders not to teach in the name of Jesus, but you continue to fill Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty for this man’s death.”
(29) Peter and the apostles said, “We must obey God rather than man! (30) The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead—whom you killed by crucifying him on a Roman cross. (31) But God exalted him to his right hand of authority as Ruler and Savior so that he could bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins. (32) We are eyewitnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God gave to those who obey him.”
(33) When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and wanted to have them put to death.
Gamaliel Speaks Up
(34) But Gamaliel, a Pharisee and teacher of the law of Moses who was honored by all the people, stood up to speak to the Jewish governing council (the Sanhedrin) and ordered that the apostles be taken out of the room for a short time.
(35) Then he said to the Sanhedrin, “Leaders of Israel, be very careful about what you decide to do to these men. (36) Remember some time ago Theudas claimed to be somebody special in God’s eyes, and about 400 men followed him. He was killed, and all his followers were scattered and nothing came from this movement. (37) After him, Judas from Galilee rose up during the days of the Roman census and led a group of men in a revolt. He too was killed, and all of his followers were scattered. (38) Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone and let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. (39) But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you’ll only find yourselves fighting against God.”
(40) Gamaliel’s speech convinced them. They brought the apostles back in and had them flogged (whipped with 39 lashes). Then they ordered them to stop speaking in the name of Jesus, and let them go.
(41) The apostles left the Sanhedrin rejoicing because they were found worthy of suffering disgrace for the name of Jesus. (42) Daily, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the gospel (good news) that Jesus is the Messiah (Christ).