Acts 4:1-12 As Peter and John spoke to the people about Jesus, the Jewish leaders came upon them and arrested them. The number of people who believed the word was 5,000. The next day, the Jewish leaders questioned Peter and John from where they got their authority to preach about Jesus raised from the dead. Peter testified that the crippled man was healed by the risen Jesus. He told them that Jesus was the promised Messiah whereby salvation comes by Him alone.
Acts 4:13-22 The Jewish leaders were astonished at the knowledge of Peter and did recognize Peter and John as being with Jesus. They did not deny the healing miracle of the crippled man, but they didn’t want the message of Jesus spreading, so they commanded them to speak no more about Jesus. Peter said they would obey God and not man.
Notes: Christians should obey governmental authority (Rom. 13:1–7; 1 Pet. 2:13–17), but when government decrees are clearly contrary to God’s word, God must be obeyed (cf. Ex. 1:15–17; Dan. 6:4–10).
Acts 4:23-31 The Jewish leaders let Peter and John go. When they returned home, they told the other disciples what had happened and they immediately praised God. They asked God to grant that they would continue spreading the good news about Jesus with boldness. God answered their prayer by shaking the place they were gathered in, and the Holy Spirit filled them to the brim.
Notes: Peter and John’s experience did not frighten or discourage the other disciples, but exhilarated them. They took confidence in God’s sovereign control of all events, even their sufferings. Furthermore, they were comforted that the opposition whom they were facing was foreseen in the OT.
Acts 4:32-37 All those that believed were of one mind, heart, and soul and they shared everything among each other. God gave the apostles great power and grace to spread the word about Jesus. Barnabas sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid in at the apostles’ feet to share among the brethren, as did many of the believers.
Notes: Luke introduces Barnabas as a role model from among those who donated property proceeds. He becomes an associate of Paul and a prominent figure later in the book.