Acts 3-5 New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
Peter Heals a Beggar Who Can’t Walk
3 One day Peter and John were going up to the temple. It was three o’clock in the afternoon. It was the time for prayer. 2 A man unable to walk was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful. He had been that way since he was born. Every day someone put him near the gate. There he would beg from people going into the temple courtyards. 3 He saw that Peter and John were about to enter. So he asked them for money. 4 Peter looked straight at him, and so did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” 5 So the man watched them closely. He expected to get something from them.
6 Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold. But I’ll give you what I do have. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, get up and walk.” 7 Then Peter took him by the right hand and helped him up. At once the man’s feet and ankles became strong. 8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk. He went with Peter and John into the temple courtyards. He walked and jumped and praised God. 9 All the people saw him walking and praising God. 10 They recognized him as the same man who used to sit and beg at the temple gate called Beautiful. They were filled with wonder. They were amazed at what had happened to him.
Peter Speaks to the People at the Temple
11 The man was holding on to Peter and John. All the people were amazed. They came running to them at the place called Solomon’s Porch. 12 When Peter saw this, he said, “Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us? It’s not as if we’ve made this man walk by our own power or godliness. 13 The God of our fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, has done this. God has brought glory to Jesus, who serves him. But you handed Jesus over to be killed. Pilate had decided to let him go. But you spoke against Jesus when he was in Pilate’s court. 14 You spoke against the Holy and Blameless One. You asked for a murderer to be set free instead. 15 You killed the one who gives life. But God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. 16 This man whom you see and know was made strong because of faith in Jesus’ name. Faith in Jesus has healed him completely. You can see it with your own eyes.
17 “My fellow Israelites, I know you didn’t realize what you were doing. Neither did your leaders. 18 But God had given a promise through all the prophets. And this is how he has made his promise come true. He said that his Messiah would suffer. 19 So turn away from your sins. Turn to God. Then your sins will be wiped away. The time will come when the Lord will make everything new. 20 He will send the Messiah. Jesus has been appointed as the Messiah for you. 21 Heaven must receive him until the time when God makes everything new. He promised this long ago through his holy prophets. 22 Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me. He will be one of your own people. You must listen to everything he tells you. 23 Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from their people.’ (Deuteronomy 18:15,18,19)
24 “Beginning with Samuel, all the prophets spoke about this. They said these days would come. 25 What the prophets said was meant for you. The covenant God made with your people long ago is yours also. He said to Abraham, ‘All nations on earth will be blessed through your children.’ (Genesis 22:18; 26:4) 26 God raised up Jesus, who serves him. God sent him first to you. He did it to bless you. He wanted to turn each of you from your evil ways.”
Peter and John Are Taken to the Sanhedrin
4 Peter and John were speaking to the people. The priests, the captain of the temple guard, and the Sadducees came up to the apostles. 2 They were very upset by what the apostles were teaching the people. The apostles were saying that people can be raised from the dead. They said this can happen because Jesus rose from the dead. 3 So the temple authorities arrested Peter and John. It was already evening, so they put them in prison until the next day. 4 But many who heard the message believed. The number of men who believed grew to about 5,000.
5 The next day the rulers, the elders and the teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. 6 Annas, the high priest, was there. So were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and other people in the high priest’s family. 7 They had Peter and John brought to them. They wanted to question them. “By what power did you do this?” they asked. “And through whose name?”
8 Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit. He said to them, “Rulers and elders of the people! 9 Are you asking us to explain our actions today? Do you want to know why we were kind to a man who couldn’t walk? Are you asking how he was healed? 10 Then listen to this, you and all the people of Israel! You nailed Jesus Christ of Nazareth to the cross. But God raised him from the dead. It is through Jesus’ name that this man stands healed in front of you. 11 Scripture says that Jesus is
“ ‘the stone you builders did not accept.
12 You can’t be saved by believing in anyone else. God has given people no other name under heaven that will save them.”
13 The leaders saw how bold Peter and John were. They also realized that Peter and John were ordinary men with no training. This surprised the leaders. They realized that these men had been with Jesus. 14 The leaders could see the man who had been healed. He was standing there with them. So there was nothing they could say. 15 They ordered Peter and John to leave the Sanhedrin. Then they talked things over. 16 “What can we do with these men?” they asked. “Everyone living in Jerusalem knows they have performed an unusual miracle. We can’t say it didn’t happen. 17 We have to stop this thing. It must not spread any further among the people. We have to warn these men. They must never speak to anyone in Jesus’ name again.”
18 Once again the leaders called in Peter and John. They commanded them not to speak or teach at all in Jesus’ name. 19 But Peter and John replied, “Which is right from God’s point of view? Should we listen to you? Or should we listen to God? You be the judges! 20 There’s nothing else we can do. We have to speak about the things we’ve seen and heard.”
21 The leaders warned them again. Then they let them go. They couldn’t decide how to punish Peter and John. They knew that all the people were praising God for what had happened. 22 The man who had been healed by the miracle was over 40 years old.
The Believers Pray
23 Peter and John were allowed to leave. They went back to their own people. They reported everything the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 The believers heard this. Then they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Lord and King,” they said, “you made the heavens, the earth and the sea. You made everything in them. 25 Long ago you spoke by the Holy Spirit. You spoke through the mouth of our father David, who served you. You said,
“ ‘Why are the nations angry?
27 In fact, Herod and Pontius Pilate met with the Gentiles in this city. They also met with the people of Israel. All of them made plans against your holy servant Jesus. He is the one you anointed. 28 They did what your power and purpose had already decided should happen. 29 Now, Lord, consider the bad things they say they are going to do. Help us to be very bold when we speak your word. 30 Stretch out your hand to heal. Do signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit. They were bold when they spoke God’s word.
The Believers Share What They Own
32 All the believers were agreed in heart and mind. They didn’t claim that anything they had was their own. Instead, they shared everything they owned. 33 With great power the apostles continued their teaching. They were telling people that the Lord Jesus had risen from the dead. And God’s grace was working powerfully in all of them. 34 So there were no needy persons among them. From time to time, those who owned land or houses sold them. They brought the money from the sales. 35 They put it down at the apostles’ feet. It was then given out to anyone who needed it.
36 Joseph was a Levite from Cyprus. The apostles called him Barnabas. The name Barnabas means Son of Help. 37 Barnabas sold a field he owned. He brought the money from the sale. He put it down at the apostles’ feet.
Ananias and Sapphira
5 A man named Ananias and his wife, Sapphira, also sold some land. 2 He kept part of the money for himself. Sapphira knew he had kept it. He brought the rest of it and put it down at the apostles’ feet.
3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, why did you let Satan fill your heart? He made you lie to the Holy Spirit. You have kept some of the money you received for the land. 4 Didn’t the land belong to you before it was sold? After it was sold, you could have used the money as you wished. What made you think of doing such a thing? You haven’t lied just to people. You’ve also lied to God.”
5 When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. All who heard what had happened were filled with fear. 6 Some young men came and wrapped up his body. They carried him out and buried him.
7 About three hours later, the wife of Ananias came in. She didn’t know what had happened. 8 Peter asked her, “Tell me. Is this the price you and Ananias sold the land for?”
“Yes,” she said. “That’s the price.”
9 Peter asked her, “How could you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! You can hear the steps of the men who buried your husband. They are at the door. They will carry you out also.”
10 At that moment she fell down at Peter’s feet and died. Then the young men came in. They saw that Sapphira was dead. So they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 The whole church and all who heard about these things were filled with fear.
The Apostles Heal Many People
12 The apostles did many signs and wonders among the people. All the believers used to meet together at Solomon’s Porch. 13 No outsider dared to join them. But the people thought highly of them. 14 More and more men and women believed in the Lord. They joined the other believers. 15 So people brought those who were sick into the streets. They placed them on beds and mats. They hoped that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he walked by. 16 Crowds even gathered from the towns around Jerusalem. They brought their sick people. They also brought those who were suffering because of evil spirits. All of them were healed.
The Apostles Are Treated Badly
17 The high priest and all his companions were Sadducees. They were very jealous of the apostles. 18 So they arrested them and put them in the public jail. 19 But during the night an angel of the Lord came. He opened the doors of the jail and brought the apostles out. 20 “Go! Stand in the temple courtyard,” the angel said. “Tell the people all about this new life.”
21 Early the next day they did as they had been told. They entered the temple courtyard. There they began to teach the people.
The high priest and his companions arrived. They called the Sanhedrin together. The Sanhedrin was a gathering of all the elders of Israel. They sent for the apostles who were in jail. 22 The officers arrived at the jail. But they didn’t find the apostles there. So they went back and reported it. 23 “We found the jail locked up tight,” they said. “The guards were standing at the doors. But when we opened the doors, we didn’t find anyone inside.” 24 When the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests heard this report, they were bewildered. They wondered what would happen next.
25 Then someone came and said, “Look! The men you put in jail are standing in the temple courtyard. They are teaching the people.” 26 So the captain went with his officers and brought the apostles back. But they didn’t use force. They were afraid the people would kill them by throwing stones at them.
27 They brought the apostles to the Sanhedrin. The high priest questioned them. 28 “We gave you clear orders not to teach in Jesus’ name,” he said. “But you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching. You want to make us guilty of this man’s death.”
29 Peter and the other apostles replied, “We must obey God instead of people! 30 You had Jesus killed by nailing him to a cross. But the God of our people raised Jesus from the dead. 31 Now Jesus is Prince and Savior. God has proved this by giving Jesus a place of honor with him. He did it to turn Israel away from their sins and forgive them. 32 We are telling people about these things. And so is the Holy Spirit. God has given the Spirit to those who obey him.”
33 When the leaders heard this, they became very angry. They wanted to put the apostles to death. 34 But a Pharisee named Gamaliel stood up in the Sanhedrin. He was a teacher of the law. He was honored by all the people. He ordered the apostles to be taken outside for a little while. 35 Then Gamaliel spoke to the Sanhedrin. “Men of Israel,” he said, “think carefully about what you plan to do to these men. 36 Some time ago Theudas appeared. He claimed he was really somebody. About 400 people followed him. But he was killed. All his followers were scattered. So they accomplished nothing. 37 After this, Judas from Galilee came along. This was in the days when the Romans made a list of all the people. Judas led a gang of men against the Romans. He too was killed. All his followers were scattered. 38 So let me give you some advice. Leave these men alone! Let them go! If their plans and actions only come from people, they will fail. 39 But if their plans come from God, you won’t be able to stop these men. You will only find yourselves fighting against God.”
40 His speech won the leaders over. They called the apostles in and had them whipped. The leaders ordered them not to speak in Jesus’ name. Then they let the apostles go.
41 The apostles were full of joy as they left the Sanhedrin. They considered it an honor to suffer shame for the name of Jesus. 42 Every day they taught in the temple courtyards and from house to house. They never stopped telling people the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.
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