Acts 5:1–11 (ESV)
Ananias and Sapphira
5 But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, 2 and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought
only a part of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet. 3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? 4 While
it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.” 5 When Ananias heard
these words, he fell down and breathed his last. And great fear came upon all who heard of it. 6 The young men rose and wrapped him up and carried him out and buried him.
7 After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 And Peter said to her, “Tell me whether you sold
the land for so much.” And she said, “Yes, for so much.” 9 But Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your
husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” 10 Immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. When the young men came in they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her
husband. 11 And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things.
Ananias and Sapphira pay a high price for their
hypocrisy, taking grace for granted and forgetting that “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ” (2Co 5:10). Woe to those who disturb and deceive the Lord’s Church! Yet, “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”
(Pr 9:10). “If anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father” (1Jn 2:1).
I pray: Lord, let a goodly measure of “fear and trembling” (Php
2:12) inform our trust in You. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 1842.