While Peter and John were speaking to the people, the leading priests, the captain of the Temple guard, and some of the Sadducees came over to them.
They were very disturbed that Peter and John were claiming, on the authority of Jesus, that there is a resurrection of the dead.
They arrested them and, since it was already evening, jailed them until morning.
But many of the people who heard their message believed it, so that the number of believers totaled about five thousand men, not counting women and children.
The next day the council of all the rulers and elders and teachers of religious law met in Jerusalem.
Annas the high priest was there, along with Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and other relatives of the high priest.
They brought in the two disciples and demanded, "By what power, or in whose name, have you done this?"
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, "Leaders and elders of our nation,
are we being questioned because we've done a good deed for a crippled man? Do you want to know how he was healed?
Let me clearly state to you and to all the people of Israel that he was healed in the name and power of Jesus Christ from Nazareth, the man you crucified, but whom God raised from the dead.
For Jesus is the one referred to in the Scriptures, where it says, 'The stone that you builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.'
There is salvation in no one else! There is no other name in all of heaven for people to call on to save them."
The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men who had had no special training. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus.
But since the man who had been healed was standing right there among them, the council had nothing to say.
So they sent Peter and John out of the council chamber and conferred among themselves.
"What should we do with these men?" they asked each other. "We can't deny they have done a miraculous sign, and everybody in Jerusalem knows about it.
But perhaps we can stop them from spreading their propaganda. We'll warn them not to speak to anyone in Jesus' name again."
So they called the apostles back in and told them never again to speak or teach about Jesus.
But Peter and John replied, "Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him?
We cannot stop telling about the wonderful things we have seen and heard."
The 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
for this miraculous sign -- the healing of a man who had been lame for more than forty years.
As soon as they were freed, Peter and John found the other believers and told them what the leading priests and elders had said.
Then all the believers were united as they lifted their voices in prayer: "O Sovereign Lord, Creator of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them --
you spoke long ago by the Holy Spirit through our ancestor King David, your servant, saying, 'Why did the nations rage? Why did the people waste their time with futile plans?
The kings of the earth prepared for battle; the rulers gathered together against the Lord and against his Messiah.' "
"That is what has happened here in this city! For Herod Antipas, Pontius Pilate the governor, the Gentiles, and the people of Israel were all united against Jesus, your holy servant, whom you anointed.
In fact, everything they did occurred according to your eternal will and plan.
And now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give your servants great boldness in their preaching.
Send your healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus."
After this prayer, the building where they were meeting shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. And they preached God's message with boldness.
All the believers were of one heart and mind, and they felt that what they owned was not their own; they shared everything they had.
And the apostles gave powerful witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God's great favor was upon them all.
There was no poverty among them, because people who owned land or houses sold them
and brought the money to the apostles to give to others in need.
For instance, there was Joseph, the one the apostles nicknamed Barnabas (which means "Son of Encouragement"). He was from the tribe of Levi and came from the island of Cyprus.
He sold a field he owned and brought the money to the apostles for those in need.