Acts 4:32–37 (ESV)
They Had Everything in Common
Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. 33 And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection
of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. 34 There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold 35 and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed
to each as any had need. 36 Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, 37 sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
I recently was asked about this passage if this is a form of socialism/communism. It can certain appear this way... but it is not. No state, federal, or whatever government is mandating or enforcing this selling
and giving. It is motivated out of love for one another. The Lutheran Study Bible states: “Preview and foretaste of the restoration of Paradise-like conditions in heaven. God gives us property and resources for our neighbor’s benefit.
The early Christians fully shared with one another, but not in the same way as the failed communist experiments of the twentieth century. Here there is no compulsion or involvement of the State—only believers are affected, and only goods are shared,
not their production. This reading help sets up tomorrow’s reading which can be troubling.
I pray: O Lord, help me to love as these believers loved. Help me to not use the government
as an excuse to not help out those in need. Help me to react instead of sit back. Amen.