Study Guide

Acts of the Apostles Chapter 4

Chapter 4

Arrested Development

  • As Peter is giving his big pep talk, some of the priests and Sadducees stroll by (you may remember them as the bad guys from the gospel stories).
  • As usual, they're pretty ticked that Peter and John are still going on about Jesus. Seriously—didn't they just have that guy killed?
  • So they have Peter and John arrested. No chance of them turning over a new leaf, we guess.
  • The joke's kind of on them though, because thanks to Peter's little speech, about 5,000 people decide to start following Jesus. Boo-yah!

Preach, Peter

  • The next day, the religious authorities get together to question Peter and John. It's a who's who of guys who killed Jesus.
  • They want to know exactly how Peter and John healed the man who couldn't walk.
  • Peter is filled with the Holy Spirit and goes off on another long defense.
  • First of all, what they did was a good deed (not a crime). Second of all, they did it by the power of Jesus Christ. Remember him, haters?
  • Jesus was like a piece of stone that these guys said couldn't go into their holy building, but now he's become the cornerstone for the whole project. Yeah, he's a pretty big deal.

Keep It Quiet

  • Now the religious authorities are between a rock and a hard place. They know that Peter and John were with Jesus from the beginning.
  • They also know that they're just a bunch of uneducated commoners (they don't have fancy degrees from high priest school). And yet somehow, they managed to convert 5,000 people to their cause. Even the guy they healed is standing beside them in defense.
  • What are they supposed to do?
  • The religious authorities decide that, if they can't deny what happened, they'll just order Peter and John not to talk about it. Yeah, this plan should work.
  • Peter and John straight out tell them they're not gonna stop talking about Jesus (it's kind of what they do).
  • Then the religious authorities release them since they can't think of any way to punish them. Wow. These guys have really lost their mojo.

They Feel the Earth Move

  • Peter and John head back to the other apostles and company and let everyone know what happened.
  • Everyone prays that God will protect them from these naysayers and let them keep healing people because they're sure as heck not gonna stop doing his good work.
  • After they finish praying, the whole place starts to shake and everyone is filled with the Holy Spirit. We're thinking that's a good sign that God was listening.
  • Meanwhile, the followers of Jesus keep on living their communal hippie lifestyle. No one owns anything; they just pool all their resources together to live.
  • People sell their houses and donate the proceeds to the community. No one is poor or needy, and everyone shares everything. Awww.