The Ballad of Ananias and Sapphira

imgres“This portrait of the early church as an unselfish community is captivating and inspiring. It presents a challenge for many followers of the Anointed One who want to show sacrificially their love to Him and His church.”

“Many today wonder how to translate this into a modern culture so shaped by consumerism and self-interest, but no translation is necessary. These problems weren’t foreign to the early community.”

“In contrast to the generosity and sincerity of some like Barnabas, Luke now explains that others gave not out of love, but out of a desire to be honored by the community.”

Once a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira fully cooperating, committed fraud. He sold some property and kept some of the proceeds, but he pretended to make a full donation to the Lord’s emissaries.

Peter: Ananias, have you allowed Satan to influence your lies to the Holy Spirit and hold back some of the money? Look, it was your property before you sold it, and the money was all yours after you sold it. Why have you concocted this scheme in your heart? You weren’t just lying to us; you were lying to God.

Ananias heard these words and immediately dropped to the ground, dead; fear overcame all those who heard of the incident. Some young men came, wrapped the body, and buried it immediately. About three hours had passed when Sapphira arrived. She had no idea what had happened.

Peter: Did you sell the land for such-and-such a price?

Sapphira: Yes, that was the price.

Peter: Why did the two of you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Do you hear those footsteps outside? Those are the young men who just buried your husband, and now they will carry you out as well

.10 She—like her husband—immediately fell dead at Peter’s feet. The young men came in and carried her corpse outside and buried it beside her husband. 11 The whole church was terrified by this story, as were others who heard (Acts 5:1-11, The Voice Bible).

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.