Here's a bit more from my recent sermon, on how the Church should represent Christ.
Just last week, my kids wanted to go outside. Maybe you have had similar experiences with your children, but I feel like Jen and I have to reintroduce our children to the idea of seasons every year. When summer fades and cold weather comes upon us, one might wonder if my kids have any feeling left in their bodies. All 3 of them attempted to exit the house without jackets. The oldest 2 tried going out without shoes or socks. I corrected that, but then I saw Luke unfolding a pair of socks.
This was suspicious, because Luke doesn't fold socks. When that chore comes around, he suddenly shows me his hands and, to my amazement, he has 10 thumbs. Can’t fold socks with 10 thumbs. So, being the wise parent I am, I knew the boy had previously taken off the socks he wore to school, decided it would be easier to get a new pair (because, after all, there is this magic drawer in his room that makes clean socks) and tried leaving that way.
But I stopped him. I asked him where his old socks were. He said he couldn’t find them. Knowing that Luke, just like his sisters, also does not know where to find the dirty clothes hamper, I walked into his room and simply looked down. You’ll never guess what I found. I went out and said, in a very exasperated tone, ‘Son, you had to walk over your dirty socks in order to get to the magic drawer that makes clean socks. How did you not see them?’
That’s the picture I want you to maintain here, one of exasperation, as you read Peter’s response to Ananias and Sapphira.
2 He brought part of the money to the apostles, claiming it was the full amount. With his wife’s consent, he kept the rest.
3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, why have you let Satan fill your heart? You lied to the Holy Spirit, and you kept some of the money for yourself. 4 The property was yours to sell or not sell, as you wished. And after selling it, the money was also yours to give away. How could you do a thing like this? You weren’t lying to us but to God!”
5 As soon as Ananias heard these words, he fell to the floor and died. Everyone who heard about it was terrified. ~Acts 5:2-5
You think!?! They were terrified? Wouldn’t you be? Sure, make an example out of him, but I might have figured a time-out would do the trick. No, Peter spoke, Ananias died.
6 Then some young men got up, wrapped him in a sheet, and took him out and buried him.
7 About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 Peter asked her, “Was this the price you and your husband received for your land?” ~Acts 5:6-7
This sort of feels like when you come home and your parents are waiting at the table, holding your report card. This is probably not going to go well for you.
“Yes,” she replied, “that was the price.” ~Acts 5:8Wrong answer!
And if we could picture Peter at this moment, I’m guessing he’s got his jaw dropped and his hands are looking for something to squeeze or hit and he drops the bomb on Sapphira.
9 And Peter said, “How could the two of you even think of conspiring to test the Spirit of the Lord like this? The young men who buried your husband are just outside the door, and they will carry you out, too.”In case you’re wondering, what Ananias and Sapphira did was bad stink for the church.
10 Instantly, she fell to the floor and died. When the young men came in and saw that she was dead, they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 Great fear gripped the entire church and everyone else who heard what had happened.