Greetings one and all. First of all my apologies for not writing last week. Just got really busy all of a sudden last week. But now I am back on track and hope you all find this post thought provoking.
In these past few blog posts we’ve been looking at the book of Acts and noticing how missional they were. In this post I want to draw your attention to the end of Acts chapter 4:32 and into chapter 5. Starting in verse 32 we read that the believers were all in one in mind and heart. There was no one there who thought of their possessions as their own but they shared everything they had with one another. It is remarkable that the author says that no one there was needy. The brethren there would sell some of their things and/or property or houses and bring the money to the apostles to give to whom ever had needs. I have heard that Jewish families cherished what was handed down to them from their families: family heir looms where of big importance to the Jewish society. Even property was held up like that. So for them to be willing to sell their property and provide for the needy among them is a great testimony. One of the church leaders named Joseph from Cyprus (he would later be called Barnabus) sold a piece of property he had and gave the money to the apostles. I imagine all of this was going really well. That is until a couple who were church leaders sold a piece of their property. They decided to keep some for themselves and give the rest to the apostles to give to the needy. Which would have been totally fine. Except that this couple decided to lie about it when they told the apostles they gave all the money when they really had not. The apostle Peter called them out on it and they both fell down dead. Peter told them they had really lied to God and not to man. Chapter 5 verse 11 reads “Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events”. We all should check our motives for doing what we do.
Just a side note here: it is interesting to point out that this verse is the first mention of the church in the book of Acts. The Lord Jesus said in Matthew’s gospel that He would establish His church. In Acts 5:11 that church is an established reality.
In verses 11 through 16 the apostles where all healing people and telling them about Jesus and how to be saved through Him. In verses 17 through 42 the religious authorities got a hold of the apostles and threw them all in jail for preaching about Him. They discussed how to punish them, but one of their number said they shouldn’t do anything to these men. He reminded his fellow Sadducees of those who rose up to lead a revolution and where killed. All of their followers were dispersed and all of it came to nothing. If what these men were doing was of their own making, it would all come to ruin also. But if they really were from God nothing could stop them.
And the Saducees listened to him. They brought the disciples in, whipped them, and let them go.
The apostles left there rejoicing that they got to suffer for Jesus, which is also remarkable. They all continued to preach and teach about Jesus wherever they were.
How are we at rejoicing for suffering for Jesus? How are we at proclaiming the good news of Jesus?
I hope and pray you found this interesting and insightful. As always comments, thoughts, etc are always welcomed and encouraged.
Thank you all for reading my thoughts here. God bless you all. Grace and Peace :}