Acts 2:42-46 The believers continue to meet every day in Solomon’s Porch in the Temple courtyards (see Map 12). They share their meals and their possessions, and devote themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to prayer. They ‘break bread’ in their homes (an ordinary, informal meal that has become the more formal ‘Eucharist’ or ‘Holy Communion’ service), and gather regularly in the Temple. Everyone is filled with awe when they see the many miracles and wonders done by the apostles.
Acts 3:1-26 Peter and John heal a crippled man at the Beautiful Gate in the Temple courts (see Map 12). They explain that the man has been healed through faith in Jesus whom God raised from the dead. People are amazed, and the number of believers rises to about five thousand (see Acts 4:4).
The Jewish Temple, showing the Beautiful Gate (lower centre) (Acts 3:2)
Acts 4:1-22 Peter and John are arrested by the temple guards at the insistence of the Sadducees (who oppose belief in any form of resurrection after death). They are imprisoned overnight, probably at the home of Caiaphas, and brought before the Jewish council (the Sanhedrin) the following day.
Annas and Caiaphas – the chief priests who had ordered Jesus’s death – question them. Peter, full of the Holy Spirit, explains that the lame man was healed ‘in the name’ (meaning ‘by the power’) of Jesus of Nazareth. “You crucified him, but God raised him from the dead” (Acts 4:10). The Sanhedrin can’t decide what to do with Peter and John as they can’t deny the miracle that everyone has seen. So they release them after further threats.
Acts 4:23-31 Peter and John report back to the believers. They pray for miraculous signs and wonders and praise God. Suddenly, an earthquake shakes the building where they are meeting in Jerusalem. They’re all filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit and continue to spread the Good News boldly.