by Harley Howard

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The Book of Acts Chapter 5:1-15 (14 of 44)
Dr. Harley Howard

1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his
wife, sold a possession,

The scriptures mentioned in chapter 4 that Joses or
Barnabas gave to the needs of the saints and laid the
proceeds at the feet of the apostles. There might
have been some significance in what he did.

One writer states: "The mention of Barnabas and his
donation serves several purposes in the Book of Acts.
First, in the immediate context, it serves as an
illustration of the kind of benevolence Luke has
described in general terms. Barnabas is a concrete
illustration of a general statement. Further, this
reference to Barnabas is a backdrop, against which the
sinful actions of Ananias and Sapphira will be
depicted in the next verses of chapter 5. And
finally, the mention of Barnabas serves as an
introduction of this remarkable man of God, whose
ministry of encouragement to Paul and many others will
be described later on in the book. It is no wonder
that this man who gave generously of his own means
would be chosen to carry a generous gift from the
saints in Antioch to the needy saints in Jerusalem
(cf. Acts 11:27-30).

It is against this beautiful backdrop that we come to
verse 1 of chapter 5 and are introduced to the first
recorded hypocrites in the church, Ananias and
Sapphira. The gracious act of giving is set in direct
contrast to the sham giving of Ananias and Sapphira.
It would appear, though I cannot be dogmatic about
this, that they may have tried to gain the same kind
of respect as Barnabas did when he gave, and that may
be more speculative than fact because there was
nothing said about how the apostles or the other
believers responded when he gave.

Ananias and Sapphira sold a possession, which means,
land or property. Now notice that the giving was not
mandatory, not legislated, not mandated, not
pressured, but completely and ...

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