Okay. So. It’s right after Jesus’ death and resurrection. Two of Jesus’ main homies named Peter and John were going around preaching the gospel. And these two dudes were like Jesus’s best friends when he was on Earth. But now that he was in heaven, Jesus was still giving em the power to do cool stuff in his name. Like, they made a paralyzed dude walk because Jesus was working through them. But the Jews who crucified Jesus didn’t like this because they were thinking, “If they keep doing this crap then people are going to want to follow Jesus and we can’t have that!” So they threw Peter and John and jail.
Now, the crowds had already grown to like the two men so they were pretty mad when they got thrown in jail. Eventually, the Jews had to let em go so there wouldn’t be an uproar. So they released them and then Pete and John continued their ministry.
In one particular instance, they were preaching the gospel and like a whole bunch of people repented. And everyone was really pumped and fired up and really feeling the Holy Spirit you know? And they were trying to do everything they could to please him. They wanted to do all kinds of stuff to please God. So all of them started selling all of their stuff including property and land and other possessions and they were giving all that money to the church. They were just trying to give back what they could to God.
There was this one married couple who was there and saw what was happening and wanted in on it too. But they were also super greedy. So they sold their land and got a bunch of money for it but they decided to keep a little bit of it for themselves. Then the husband, called Ananias, brought it to the church where Peter was and said: “here is all the money.”
And Pete was like, “Oh yeah?”
And Ani was like, “yeah”.
And Pete said “Dude. Jesus is my best friend. I know you’re lying.”
And Ani said to himself, “Oh crap.”
Then Pete said, “you realize I never told you that you had to give me all the money. You coulda kept some of it and that would have been fine. But you decided to lie to the Holy Spirit instead. So now you gotta die.” And that’s when Ani INSTANTLY DROPPED DEAD RIGHT THERE. Peter called to a group of men and said: “hey, get rid of him.” And the men went and BURIED HIM.
Then Ani’s wife comes by, her name Sapphira. She wasn’t aware of what had just happened. And Peter says, “was this all the money?” And she was like, “yeah, bro.” And Pete was like “Okay. See those men over there? Yeah, they just buried your husband, and now they’re gonna bury you.” AND THAT’S WHEN SHE DROPPED DEAD TOO. There was a whole bunch of people standing around who saw what had happened and they all got really scared. But they knew from that point on… don’t lie to Peter. More than that, don’t lie to God! Have some common sense. I mean, he’s God, he’s gonna know. Geesh.
So let’s go back to this whole ‘Jew’s wanting to put Peter and John in jail’ thing. After the Ani and Sapphira thing, Pete and John and the rest of the apostles were still out there doing cool stuff. And they kept preaching the gospel, of course, and God kept bringing more people into his kingdom and it was really amazing. People from all over the place were bringing their sick friends and family to them so that they could be healed too.
But the Jews still hated this. So the high priest went to his people and was like, “arrest those jerks. NOW.” And they put them all in prison. But of course, God had different plans. And that night God opened the doors was like, “nah, you can go. Go tell people about me some more.” So they went out to the temple and started preaching again.
Then when the Jews came back to check on the prisoners, they were gone. And they thought Um, where the heck did they go?!?! And they found em out in public preaching the word and man… the Jews were MAD.
The Jews were like “STOP.”
And the apostles were like “NO.”
And the Jews were like ” We are ordering you to stop!”
And the apostles were like “We don’t listen to you! We listen to God! And this is where he wants us!”
The Jews were fuming… they wanted to kill them so bad. But then one of them stood up and said “don’t touch them. If they’re liars then it doesn’t matter what they preach cus it’s gonna fail. But if they are telling the truth, then you’ll be killing God’s men and that doesn’t sound like it’ll end well for you…” So the Jews didn’t kill them or even throw them in prison. But they did beat the crap out of them. And as they were doing it they warned them, “Don’t you dare speak about Jesus again!” And then they left… and guess what? The disciples started talking about Jesus again because they ain’t scared of no Jews. In fact, they were all really glad that they were found worthy enough to suffer for the sake of Christ.
This is my oversimplified summary of the story of Ananias and Sapphira found in Acts 4 and 5. To read the real thing click here.