Acts 4:23 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 4:23, NIV: On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them.

Acts 4:23, ESV: When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them.

Acts 4:23, KJV: And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them.

Acts 4:23, NASB: When they had been released, they went to their own companions and reported everything that the chief priests and the elders had said to them.

Acts 4:23, NLT: As soon as they were freed, Peter and John returned to the other believers and told them what the leading priests and elders had said.

Acts 4:23, CSB: After they were released, they went to their own people and reported everything the chief priests and the elders had said to them.

What does Acts 4:23 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Peter and John healed a lame man while at the temple for afternoon prayers. A crowd of people noticed, and Peter explained he performed the miracle through the power of Jesus of Nazareth who had risen from the dead. The Sanhedrin, both out of jealousy over the crowd's interest and out of denial of the resurrection of the dead, arrested Peter and John and questioned them the next day. They ordered the two not to preach about Jesus anymore and released them (Acts 3:1—4:22).

Peter and John return to their companions. In addition to the other apostles, Jesus' family, and the original Jesus-followers, about five thousand men plus women and children have accepted Christ and received the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:13–15; 4:4). It's likely Peter and John are with the first group, possibly at the home of John-Mark's mother Mary (Acts 12:12).

They know that the Sanhedrin has not threatened them idly. This is the same group that convinced Pilate to crucify Jesus (John 19:1–16). According to church tradition, all the apostles will face persecution, and all but John will die a martyr's death. Peter, especially, knows this is coming (John 21:18–19). They resolve to follow Jesus, anyway.

It can be disorienting to know you're obligated to reject the instruction of your leaders, whether they be civil, religious, or parental. God doesn't intend us to take that counter-cultural stand alone. He established the church as a place where we can receive guidance (Acts 2:42), encouragement (Hebrews 10:25), purpose (Galatians 5:13), and kindness (Ephesians 4:32). Following Jesus may require the end of family relationships (Matthew 10:34–36) or even the end of our lives (Matthew 10:39). Jesus made the church to be a place where we can experience His love (1 John 4:12) and, as here, find encouragement to stand firm in the face of persecution.