While they were saying this to the people, the Priests, the Commander of the Temple Guard, and the Sadducees came upon them,
highly incensed at their teaching the people and proclaiming in the case of Jesus the Resurrection from among the dead.
They arrested the two Apostles and lodged them in custody till the next day; for it was already evening.
But many of those who had listened to their preaching believed; and the number of the adult men had now grown to be about 5,000.
The next day a meeting was held in Jerusalem of their Rulers, Elders, and Scribes,
with Annas the High Priest, Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and the other members of the high-priestly family.
So they made the Apostles stand in the centre, and demanded of them, "By what power or in what name have you done this?"
Then Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit, and he replied, "Rulers and Elders of the people,
if we to-day are under examination concerning the benefit conferred on a man helplessly lame, as to how this man has been cured;
be it known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that through the name of Jesus the Anointed, the Nazarene, whom *you* crucified, but whom *God* has raised from among the dead-- through that name this man stands here before you in perfect health.
This Jesus is the Stone treated with contempt by you the builders, but it has been made the Cornerstone.
And in no other is the great salvation to be found; for, in fact, there is no second name under Heaven that has been given among men through which we are to be saved."
As they looked on Peter and John so fearlessly outspoken--and also discovered that they were illiterate persons, untrained in the schools--they were surprised; and now they recognized them as having been with Jesus.
And seeing the man standing with them--the man who had been cured--they had no reply to make.
So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin while they conferred among themselves.
"What are we to do with these men?" they asked one another; for the fact that a remarkable miracle has been performed by them is well known to every one in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it.
But to prevent the matter spreading any further among the people, let us stop them by threats from speaking in the future in this name to any one whatever."
So they recalled the Apostles, and ordered them altogether to give up speaking or teaching in the name of Jesus.
But Peter and John replied, "Judge whether it is right in God's sight to listen to you instead of listening to God.
As for us, what we have seen and heard we cannot help speaking about."
The Court added further threats and then let them go, being quite unable to find any way of punishing them on account of the people, because all gave God the glory for the thing that had happened.
For the man was over forty years of age on whom this miracle of restoration to health had been performed.
After their release the two Apostles went to their friends, and told them all that the High Priests and Elders had said.
And they, upon hearing the story, all lifted up their voices to God and said, "O Sovereign Lord, it is Thou who didst make Heaven and earth and sea, and all that is in them,
and didst say through the Holy Spirit by the lips of our forefather David Thy servant, "`Why have the nations stamped and raged, and the peoples formed futile plans?
The kings of the earth came near, and the rulers assembled together against the Lord and against His Anointed.'"
"They did indeed assemble in this city in hostility to Thy holy Servant Jesus whom Thou hadst anointed--Herod and Pontius Pilate with the Gentiles and also the tribes of Israel--
to do all that Thy power and Thy will had predetermined should be done.
And now, Lord, listen to their threats, and enable Thy servants to proclaim Thy Message with fearless courage,
whilst Thou stretchest out Thine arm to cure men, and to give signs and marvels through the name of Thy holy Servant Jesus."
When they had prayed, the place in which they were assembled shook, and they were, one and all, filled with the Holy Spirit, and proceeded to tell God's Message with boldness.
Among all those who had embraced the faith there was but one heart and soul, so that none of them claimed any of his possessions as his own, but everything they had was common property;
while the Apostles with great force of conviction delivered their testimony as to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus; and great grace was upon them all.
And, in fact, there was not a needy man among them, for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the money which they realised,
and gave it to the Apostles, and distribution was made to every one according to his wants.
In this way Joseph, whom the Apostles gave the name of Bar-nabas--signifying `Son of Encouragement' --a Levite, a native of Cyprus,
sold a farm which he had, and brought the money and gave it to the Apostles.