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Acts: Chapter 5

Categories: ActsTags: 2.1 min read

The book or the acts of the apostle tells us of a new Order. The Christian church was being established. We left chapter 4 having learned that they met at one another’s houses to break bread and drink wine in remembrance of Jesus’ death and resurrection. They shared each other’s possessions so that the poor amongst them were helped. Rich members sold property and gave the money they received to the apostles to distribute to the poor.

Now, in chapter 5, we read an alarming account of what happened when a dishonest couple called Ananias and Sapphira sold some property but only took part of the money they received to apostles. They pretended that they were giving all of the money. Peter told Ananias that their dishonesty was not just lying to men but also to God. We imagined the alarming scene of Ananias falling down dead when he heard Peter’s words. Sapphira was obviously in on the plan because we read in Acts 5:10 that she too fell down dead.

Acts 5:12 tells us that the apostles performed miracles among the people.

There was a question about Acts 5:13. All the believers met in Solomon’s porch, where public meetings were held. Acts 5:14 records that the Christian church grew. There was a great crowd of people who believed in the Lord. Sick people were laid down in the street so that Peters shadow may fall across them and heal them.

In the same way that the Jewish leaders tried to stop Jesus preaching and healing, so the apostles received so it was with the apostles. The rest of the chapter records that the apostles were arrested and imprisoned for preaching the gospel. That night, an angel released them and told them to go to the temple and tell the people about the new life. They obeyed and when the temple officer heard where they were he took guards with him and brought the apostles before the council. Acts 5:29 records peter’s defence. “We must obey God, not men”

Peter’s words in Acts 5:30 angered the council to the point of suggesting they should be stoned to death. But Gamaliel, a revered Pharisee, reminded them of many false Messiahs whose followers were scattered. In Acts 5:38, Ganmaliel advises the council to do nothing because if Jesus isn’t the Messiah nothing will come of this new group of followers. If he is from God they wouldn’t win, they’d be fighting against God.

So, triumphant, the apostles continue,

“Rejoicing that they counted worthy to suffer for his name.”

ADDITIONAL READING

FURTHER THOUGHTS

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