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Acts 4:5-31

Updated: Jun 19, 2020

Peter and John were imprisoned because the temple leaders and political leaders were “greatly annoyed” at their teachings about Jesus’ resurrection. Now, Peter and John are standing before the council for a hearing.


ACTS 4:5-31

5 On the next day their rulers and elders and scribes gathered together in Jerusalem, 6 with Annas the high priest and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. 7 And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, 9 if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, 10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. 11 This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. 14 But seeing the man who was healed standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition. 15 But when they had commanded them to leave the council, they conferred with one another, 16 saying, “What shall we do with these men? For that a notable sign has been performed through them is evident to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. 17 But in order that it may spread no further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to anyone in this name.” 18 So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, 20 for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.” 21 And when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way to punish them, because of the people, for all were praising God for what had happened. 22 For the man on whom this sign of healing was performed was more than forty years old.

The Believers Pray for Boldness

23 When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said,

“Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, 25 who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit, “‘Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples plot in vain? 26 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed’— 27 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. 29 And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, 30 while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”

31 And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.


Is there a verse or passage that stands out to you? Why? Take a moment to pray about those verses.

After I watch Mission Impossible movies, I always want to be a spy. I feel overwhelmed with desire for a life that is as purposeful and action-packed as Ethan Hunt’s. I want to be a hero! I want to save the earth!

When I read this passage, I feel the same way. My heart is stirred with a deep hunger for a life like this. I want to live the way the disciples are living. I want to experience the same boldness and miracles and joy that they are experiencing. More than just an “adrenaline junkie” desire for excitement is the joy and awe that God has invited all of us to work alongside him! It is not by our own ability or qualification. It is by the Spirit of God who lives in us.

What an amazing life we get to live! Would verses 29 & 30 be our prayer today— “Grant your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”

Personal Application

How do you feel about sharing the gospel? (e.g. anxious, afraid, excited, unqualified, willing) Why do you think you feel this way? How might this passage change the way you think about sharing the gospel?

Reach Out!

Sharing the gospel is a collaboration with God. We only need to speak in obedience— God is the one who moves the heart. Is there anyone that you can share the good news with today? Ask God to bring someone to mind. Pray for them and then reach out!

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