Thoughts and Reflection
Today we read about Ananias and Sapphira who sold things to give the proceeds to the apostles. They are just pretending to be generous and hypocritical. The apostles continue to heal people which is a sign that the Lord uses them in remarkable ways. We are called to allow Jesus to work in our lives.
Even though the apostles were told to stop proclaiming in the name of Jesus, they didn’t and answered the call to God. As a result, the apostles are beaten and they rejoice that they can suffer for Jesus.
About This Project
For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!
1 There was also a man called Ananias. He and his wife, Sapphira, agreed to sell a property;
2 but with his wife’s connivance he kept back part of the price and brought the rest and presented it to the apostles.
3 Peter said, ‘Ananias, how can Satan have so possessed you that you should lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land?
4 While you still owned the land, wasn’t it yours to keep, and after you had sold it wasn’t the money yours to do with as you liked? What put this scheme into your mind? You have been lying not to men, but to God.’
5 When he heard this Ananias fell down dead. And a great fear came upon everyone present.
6 The younger men got up, wrapped up the body, carried it out and buried it.
7 About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had taken place.
8 Peter challenged her, ‘Tell me, was this the price you sold the land for?’ ‘Yes,’ she said, ‘that was the price.’
9 Peter then said, ‘Why did you and your husband agree to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Listen! At the door are the footsteps of those who have buried your husband; they will carry you out, too.’
10 Instantly she dropped dead at his feet. When the young men came in they found she was dead, and they carried her out and buried her by the side of her husband.
11 And a great fear came upon the whole church and on all who heard it.
12 The apostles worked many signs and miracles among the people. One in heart, they all used to meet in the Portico of Solomon.
13 No one else dared to join them, but the people were loud in their praise
14 and the numbers of men and women who came to believe in the Lord increased steadily. Many signs and wonders were worked among the people at the hands of the apostles
15 so that the sick were even taken out into the streets and laid on beds and sleeping-mats in the hope that at least the shadow of Peter might fall across some of them as he went past.
16 People even came crowding in from the towns round about Jerusalem, bringing with them their sick and those tormented by unclean spirits, and all of them were cured.
17 Then the high priest intervened with all his supporters from the party of the Sadducees. Filled with jealousy,
18 they arrested the apostles and had them put in the public gaol.
19 But at night the angel of the Lord opened the prison gates and said as he led them out,
20 ‘Go and take up position in the Temple, and tell the people all about this new Life.’
21 They did as they were told; they went into the Temple at dawn and began to preach. When the high priest arrived, he and his supporters convened the Sanhedrin — this was the full Senate of Israel — and sent to the gaol for them to be brought.
22 But when the officials arrived at the prison they found they were not inside, so they went back and reported,
23 ‘We found the gaol securely locked and the warders on duty at the gates, but when we unlocked the door we found no one inside.’
24 When the captain of the Temple and the chief priests heard this news they wondered what could be happening.
25 Then a man arrived with fresh news. ‘Look!’ he said, ‘the men you imprisoned are in the Temple. They are standing there preaching to the people.’
26 The captain went with his men and fetched them — though not by force, for they were afraid that the people might stone them.
27 When they had brought them in to face the Sanhedrin, the high priest demanded an explanation.
28 ‘We gave you a strong warning’, he said, ‘not to preach in this name, and what have you done? You have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and seem determined to fix the guilt for this man’s death on us.’
29 In reply Peter and the apostles said, ‘Obedience to God comes before obedience to men;
30 it was the God of our ancestors who raised up Jesus, whom you executed by hanging on a tree.
31 By his own right hand God has now raised him up to be leader and Saviour, to give repentance and forgiveness of sins through him to Israel.
32 We are witnesses to this, we and the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.’
33 This so infuriated them that they wanted to put them to death.
34 One member of the Sanhedrin, however, a Pharisee called Gamaliel, who was a teacher of the Law respected by the whole people, stood up and asked to have the men taken outside for a time.
35 Then he addressed the Sanhedrin, ‘Men of Israel, be careful how you deal with these people.
36 Some time ago there arose Theudas. He claimed to be someone important, and collected about four hundred followers; but when he was killed, all his followers scattered and that was the end of them.
37 And then there was Judas the Galilean, at the time of the census, who attracted crowds of supporters; but he was killed too, and all his followers dispersed.
38 What I suggest, therefore, is that you leave these men alone and let them go. If this enterprise, this movement of theirs, is of human origin it will break up of its own accord;
39 but if it does in fact come from God you will be unable to destroy them. Take care not to find yourselves fighting against God.’ His advice was accepted;
40 and they had the apostles called in, gave orders for them to be flogged, warned them not to speak in the name of Jesus and released them.
41 And so they left the presence of the Sanhedrin, glad to have had the honour of suffering humiliation for the sake of the name.
42 Every day they went on ceaselessly teaching and proclaiming the good news of Christ Jesus, both in the temple and in private houses.
1 Thus, condemnation will never come to those who are in Christ Jesus,
2 because the law of the Spirit which gives life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death.
3 What the Law could not do because of the weakness of human nature, God did, sending his own Son in the same human nature as any sinner to be a sacrifice for sin, and condemning sin in that human nature.
4 This was so that the Law’s requirements might be fully satisfied in us as we direct our lives not by our natural inclinations but by the Spirit.
5 Those who are living by their natural inclinations have their minds on the things human nature desires; those who live in the Spirit have their minds on spiritual things.
6 And human nature has nothing to look forward to but death, while the Spirit looks forward to life and peace,
7 because the outlook of disordered human nature is opposed to God, since it does not submit to God’s Law, and indeed it cannot,
8 and those who live by their natural inclinations can never be pleasing to God.
9 You, however, live not by your natural inclinations, but by the Spirit, since the Spirit of God has made a home in you. Indeed, anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.
10 But when Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin but the spirit is alive because you have been justified;
11 and if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead has made his home in you, then he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead willgive life to your own mortal bodies through his Spirit living in you.
12 So then, my brothers, we have no obligation to human nature to be dominated by it.
13 If you do live in that way, you are doomed to die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the habits originating in the body, you will have life.
14 All who are guided by the Spirit of God are sons of God;
15 for what you received was not the spirit of slavery to bring you back into fear; you received the Spirit of adoption, enabling us to cry out, ‘Abba, Father!’
16 The Spirit himself joins with our spirit to bear witness that we are children of God.
17 And if we are children, then we are heirs, heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ, provided that we share his suffering, so as to share his glory.
18 In my estimation, all that we suffer in the present time is nothing in comparison with the glory which is destined to be disclosed for us,
19 for the whole creation is waiting with eagerness for the children of God to be revealed.
20 It was not for its own purposes that creation had frustration imposed on it, but for the purposes of him who imposed it-
21 with the intention that the whole creation itself might be freed from its slavery to corruption and brought into the same glorious freedom as the children of God.
22 We are well aware that the whole creation, until this time, has been groaning in labour pains.
23 And not only that: we too, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we are groaning inside ourselves, waiting with eagerness for our bodies to be set free.
24 In hope, we already have salvation; in hope, not visibly present, or we should not be hoping — nobody goes on hoping for something which is already visible.
25 But having this hope for what we cannot yet see, we are able to wait for it with persevering confidence.
26 And as well as this, the Spirit too comes to help us in our weakness, for, when we do not know how to pray properly, then the Spiritpersonally makes our petitions for us in groans that cannot be put into words;
27 and he who can see into all hearts knows what the Spirit means because the prayers that the Spirit makes for God’s holy people are always in accordance with the mind of God.
28 We are well aware that God works with those who love him, those who have been called in accordance with his purpose, and turns everything to their good.
29 He decided beforehand who were the ones destined to be moulded to the pattern of his Son, so that he should be the eldest of many brothers;
30 it was those so destined that he called; those that he called, he justified, and those that he has justified he has brought into glory.
31 After saying this, what can we add? If God is for us, who can be against us?
32 Since he did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for the sake of all of us, then can we not expect that with him he will freely give us all his gifts?
33 Who can bring any accusation against those that God has chosen? When God grants saving justice
34 who can condemn? Are we not sure that it is Christ Jesus, who died — yes and more, who was raised from the dead and is at God’s right hand — and who is adding his plea for us?
35 Can anything cut us off from the love of Christ — can hardships or distress, or persecution, or lack of food and clothing, or threats or violence;
36 as scripture says: For your sake we are being massacred all day long, treated as sheep to be slaughtered?
37 No; we come through all these things triumphantly victorious, by the power of him who loved us.
38 For I am certain of this: neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nothing already in existence and nothing still to come, nor any power,
39 nor the heights nor the depths, nor any created thing whatever, will be able to come between us and the love of God, known to us in Christ Jesus our Lord.
7 The gorged throat revolts at honey, the hungry throat finds all bitterness sweet.
8 Like a bird that strays from its nest, so is anyone who strays away from home.
9 Oil and perfume gladden the heart, and the sweetness of friendship rather than self-reliance.