Today’s Wimps of the Bible, features our first married couple: Ananias and Sapphira. Their story is found in Acts 5
The book of Acts is Luke’s account of the early church. In the very beginning there was this community developing where everyone shared everything. “And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own; but all things were common property to them” (Acts 4:32). These people were willing to give up everything they had as individuals to help others in the community.
In my mind I see an image of what church should be like – extended families where we all help each other, share and grow together. Imagine what life would be like if we really lived in a society like that? I’m always amazed that we want to proclaim ourselves a “Christian” nation yet in practice are so far removed from what the original blue print of the church was meant to look like. I’m digressing….
In Acts 4, we read accounts of people selling their property and giving their money to the church. Ananias and Sapphira wanted in on the action; they sell their property but secretly hold back a portion of the money. Peter confronts Ananias. The property was theirs to do with as they pleased. They could have sold it for as much as they wanted and given the church as much as they wanted to give; there was no reason to lie about the price. Ananias is immediately struck dead.
Sapphira arrives on the scene, unaware of what has happened to her husband. Peter asks her the same question. She assures them that the price they gave to the church was the price they sold the land for. She too is struck dead.
Instant death seems a little harsh doesn’t it? Next time we’ll see what we can learn from Ananias and Sapphira’s experience.