Unity in Christ Jesus
Acts 5:1-16: Ananias and his wife Sapphira sell some property but withhold a portion of the money for themselves rather than give the entire amount to the apostles for the community of believers. Peter confronted them and then they die. All who hear about their deaths are terrified. The apostles perform miracles and wonders and many who were sick are healed.
Ananias and Sapphira
5 But there was a man named Ananias, who with his wife Sapphira sold some property that belonged to them. 2 But with his wife’s agreement he kept part of the money for himself and turned the rest over to the apostles. 3 Peter said to him, “Ananias, why did you let Satan take control of you and make you lie to the Holy Spirit by keeping part of the money you received for the property? 4 Before you sold the property, it belonged to you; and after you sold it, the money was yours. Why, then, did you decide to do such a thing? You have not lied to people—you have lied to God!” 5 As soon as Ananias heard this, he fell down dead; and all who heard about it were terrified. 6 The young men came in, wrapped up his body, carried him out, and buried him.
7 About three hours later his wife, not knowing what had happened, came in. 8 Peter asked her, “Tell me, was this the full amount you and your husband received for your property?”
“Yes,” she answered, “the full amount.”
9 So Peter said to her, “Why did you and your husband decide to put the Lord’s Spirit to the test? The men who buried your husband are at the door right now, and they will carry you out too!” 10 At once she fell down at his feet and died. The young men came in and saw that she was dead, so they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 The whole church and all the others who heard of this were terrified.
Miracles and Wonders
12 Many miracles and wonders were being performed among the people by the apostles. All the believers met together in Solomon’s Porch. 13 Nobody outside the group dared join them, even though the people spoke highly of them. 14 But more and more people were added to the group—a crowd of men and women who believed in the Lord. 15 As a result of what the apostles were doing, sick people were carried out into the streets and placed on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16 And crowds of people came in from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing those who were sick or who had evil spirits in them; and they were all healed.
Today’s Key Verse: Acts 5:12a
Many miracles and wonders were being performed among the people by the apostles.
Today’s reading underscores the seriousness of deception within a community of faith, and the actions of Ananias and Sapphira stand in contrast to yesterday’s reading (Acts 4:23-37) about the sharing of possessions within the community of believers. Do you think Peter was overly harsh in reprimanding Ananias and Sapphira? Why or why not? Should they have been given an opportunity to repent? Why is trust important among members of a community?
Lord God, everything I have comes from you. Curb my desire to want more than I need. Open my heart and teach me to give unselfishly to those in need. Amen.
Acts 5:17-42: The apostles are persecuted.