Vs. 1, “Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property.” This is reminiscent of Achan’s sin in Joshua 7. Question: What happened here? It was a very big sin of lying and the early church needed to make a statement. More than likely, the Holy Spirit had revealed to Peter this deception. We can only speculate that it was God’s immediate judgment, but one thing we can deduce is that we see how important it is to deal with problems in the church. Our churches today should follow this example of dealing decisively with sin. This was a time in the early church where God still worked in very powerful ways (vs. 12-16). We then see the persecution of the Apostles led by the Sadducees and brought before the Sanhedrin (vs. 17-42). I preached a message from Daniel & the Lion’s Den today and spoke about the jealously of the Persian leaders towards Daniel. This is kind of what was happening in response to all of the attention the Apostles were receiving. The Sanhedrin thought they had gotten rid of Jesus, but there were certainly very wrong!
Regarding application…Rejoicing in Suffering. Vs. 41, “The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.” In my Seminary class last week, we had talked about the passage in James 1:2 where we should consider it joy when we receive trials. While this “joy” is not necessarily an emotion that we jump up and down when we lose a loved one…this case of rejoicing from the Apostles, is certainly an oxymoron. Question: How can you rejoice when you just got flogged and almost put to death (vs. 33, 40)? They were putting all their trust in the Lord! It brought them so much joy that they were counted worthy to be persecuted (Matthew 5:10). Brothers & sisters, let us be ready to rejoice in all circumstances! Have a blessed week!