Sunday, 30 June 2019
Fear and Persecution
The disciples, moving in the knowledge of God, were preaching of Christ and his sacrifice. The church was growing and reaching out into the entire community and Jewish places of worship.
Ananias and Sapphira sold some land but attempted to deceive the apostles in relation to the proceeds of sale. They claimed they were handing over the entire sale price, but secretly, hoping for admiration and position, they held some back and lied about this. For this deception, in which they persisted when challenged, God slayed them.
News of Ananias and Sapphira spread and unsurprisingly caused fear all around. At the same time, people were hearing the gospel and holding the disciples in high esteem for their message of peace, power and providence. The religious leaders jealously opposed and imprisoned the apostles, but God miraculously intervened, freeing and protecting them so that they could carry on preaching in his name.