Acts 4:28 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 4:28, NIV: They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen.

Acts 4:28, ESV: to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.

Acts 4:28, KJV: For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.

Acts 4:28, NASB: to do whatever Your hand and purpose predestined to occur.

Acts 4:28, NLT: But everything they did was determined beforehand according to your will.

Acts 4:28, CSB: to do whatever your hand and your will had predestined to take place.

What does Acts 4:28 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The Sanhedrin arrested Peter and John for preaching that Jesus rose from the dead. Teaching resurrection isn't illegal—the Pharisees believe in resurrection—so they release the two. Peter and John return to their friends and the group prays (Acts 4:1–24).

Their prayer acknowledges that the persecution of earthly rulers is entirely under God's sovereignty and according to His plan. He gathered a king, a ruler, some Gentiles, and some Jews in the same place at the same time to kill Jesus so that His sacrifice could offer salvation to the world (Acts 4:27). The Jesus-followers are confident that God has a similar purpose for their own trials.

The apostles and other leaders don't ask God to keep them from persecution. They believe that as God predetermined Jesus' crucifixion (Genesis 3:15; 1 Peter 1:13–21), so He planned His followers' trials, deeming them necessary for His plan. Jesus' followers submit to that plan and only asked that God equip them for their part in it. They ask for boldness to continue speaking in Jesus' name and the ability to perform miracles so that the people understand that their message is His message (Acts 4:29–30). As Paul later writes, "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them" (Ephesians 2:10).

Their selfless request is honored, and the Holy Spirit again fills the place where they are praying (Acts 4:31; see Acts 2:2).