A man who could not walk was sitting and begging every day at a temple gate. One afternoon, he saw Peter and John going into the temple. He said to them: ‘Please give me something.’ Peter said: ‘I have something better than money to give you. In the name of Jesus, get up and walk!’ Then Peter helped him up, and the man began to walk! The crowd was so overjoyed by this miracle that many more people became believers.
But the priests and Sadducees were angry. They grabbed the apostles, took them to court, and demanded: ‘Who gave you the power to heal this man?’ Peter said: ‘We received power from Jesus Christ, whom you killed.’ The religious leaders shouted: ‘Stop talking about Jesus!’ But the apostles said: ‘We must talk about him. We will not stop.’
As soon as Peter and John were released, they went to the other disciples and told them what had happened. They prayed together, asking Jehovah: ‘Please help us to be bold so that we can keep doing your work.’ Jehovah gave them his holy spirit, and they continued preaching and healing. More and more people became believers. The Sadducees were so jealous that they arrested the apostles and threw them into jail. But during the night, Jehovah sent an angel, who opened the prison doors and told the apostles: ‘Go back to the temple, and teach there.’
The very next morning, the Sanhedrin, the court of religious leaders, were told: ‘The jail is still locked, but the men you arrested are gone! They are in the temple, teaching the people!’ Again, the apostles were arrested and brought to the Sanhedrin. The high priest said: ‘We ordered you not to talk about Jesus!’ But Peter answered: “We must obey God as ruler rather than men.”
The religious leaders were so angry that they wanted to kill the apostles. But a Pharisee named Gamaliel stood up and said: ‘Be careful! God might be with these men. Do you really want to fight against God?’ They took his advice. After beating the apostles with rods, they ordered them once again to stop preaching, and then they let them go. But that did not stop the apostles. They continued boldly preaching the good news, both in the temple and from house to house.
“We must obey God as ruler rather than men.”—Acts 5:29