Home > Uncategorized > Acts 5:1-10: Trying to fool God

Acts 5:1-10: Trying to fool God

After some thought, I decided to break up Acts 5 into two blog postings. The first 10 verses talk of Ananias and Sapphira’s donation to the apostles while the rest of the chapter talks about the persecution Peter and the others endure for preaching the Gospel and reminding the Jewish authorities of how they conspired to have Jesus crucified.

(NOTE: Please keep in mind that reminding the authorities of this was probably done only as a way of trying to get them to understand the Gospel. Jesus made it very clear in the Gospels that His death on the cross was necessary to pay for mankind’s sins. He willingly gave His own life).

With that, let’s talk about verses 1-10.

This passage has been widely misinterpreted. Some say that Ananias and Sapphira were struck down by God for being tightwads and withholding from God for the total amount of money they received from land they’d sold. Not true. God’s discipline came because they said the money they gave was the total amount even when it wasn’t.

Let’s say they sold five acres of land for 100 shekels of gold. They chose to keep 50 shekels of gold for themselves while giving 50 to the church. But they then tell the church that 50 shekels was all they received for the land.

Honestly, if they’d just said, “We sold the land for 100 shekels of gold but wanted to keep 50 shekels and give you 50 shekels,” I don’t think Peter and the others (God included) would’ve had a problem with it. But Ananias and Sapphire probably looked at all the people selling items and giving it all to the church and didn’t want to humiliate themselves by admitting they’d kept some of the money.

So, Ananias was struck down by God and Sapphira was also when her story matched her husband’s.

Was this the work of an angry, brutal God? No, I see it as the work of a God who wanted to ensure that dishonesty and corruption didn’t become standard fare in the early church.

Richard Zowie has been a Christian since 1981 and has been a professional writer since 2000. Post comments here or e-mail him at richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.

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