Bible Stories for the Young

Ananias & Sapphira

Lie About Giving Their All


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Ananias & Sapphira : Lie About Giving Their All

After Pentecost, there were many, many people in Jerusalem who loved God. Many had left everything to be there.

Two of the people living there were Ananias and his wife, Sapphira. They owned a nice piece of land. They started talking with each other and decided, “There are many people here who need help and we don’t need our land since we want to stay here where the party’s at. Other people have sold their land and given the money to the apostles to help the people. Let’s do that too.” So Ananias and Sapphira decided to sell their land so that they could give away the money to help.

So they sold their nice, big piece of beautiful land for 1, 2, 3 big bags of money.

Three big bags of money was a lot of money. Ananias started thinking, “Maybe I don’t need to give alllll this money away. I’m going to need a new coat and a new walking stick soon.”

And Sapphira thought, “I was just wanting to buy some new sandals, and a necklace would be nice.”

Ananias said to Sapphira, “Maybe I could use just a little of the money for a new coat.” And Sapphira said to Ananias, “And maybe I could keep just a few of the coins for sandals and a necklace.”

So Ananias said, “Hmmm... We need a new coat and sandals, and if we run out of money then the apostles will have to help take care of us too. That would be bad, so maybe we shouldn’t take the chance of giving away all that money. I know, I’ll just give away 1, 2 bags. That’s still a lot of money. So I’ll save one bag for buying those things we need.”

So, Ananias grabbed 1, 2 of the bags of money, put them in his satchel, and started walking.

Along the way Ananias thought, “But what if John or Peter or James or someone finds out I only gave some of the money. Will they think I’m selfish? But I’m NOT selfish. I’m just making a wise decision. Well, I guess I don’t have to mention that part to them, that way they won’t wrongly think that I’m selfish.”

As he walked, Ananias started to feel more and more guilty. His face started to flush and his heart started beating faster. He knew that what he was about to do was wrong, but he pushed the feeling down and told himself, “Giving two bags of money is quite generous of me, and the man I sold the land to could have only paid me two bags, so it really is kinda like all the money.”

Could it be?

Can you see what Ananias did when he started feeling guilty about lying? His conscience is telling him that he’s doing a bad thing, but he keeps stuff, stuff, stuffing it down by making excuses!

No one told Ananias and Sapphira they had to give all of the money away. It was their land, so they didn’t even have to sell it.

So why did they feel like they wanted to lie? Could it be that they wanted to look like Big Stuff by giving lots and lots of money away? Or maybe they wanted people to think they had sacrificed everything for Jesus, when really they just wanted to be part of the big party? Maybe.

Ananias walked up and proudly put the 1, 2 bags of money down, hoping they would be impressed with how much money he had given.

Ananias said, “Here’s ALL of the money from the land that we sold! We want to give it to you for the Church.” Ananias still felt a little guilty, but he kept push, push, pushing those thoughts down.

However, God knew what Ananias and Sapphira had done, and God had given Peter Heaven-Eyes so that Peter knew too.

Peter said to Ananias, “Ananias, why has satan filled your heart so that you lied to the Holy Spirit and kept back some of the money from the sale of your land. You could have done anything you wanted with your land, and anything you wanted with the money. How have you thought up such a terrible, terrible thing?! Lying! And you’ve not lied just to people, but to God Himself!” As soon as Ananias heard Peter’s words, Ananias… instantly… died.

All those around who heard what had happened were afraid. God was making it super clear that He and His Family were to be Holy! No more shenanigans in God’s House!

Three hours later, Sapphira came into the house where Peter was. She didn’t know that her husband was now dead. Peter asked Sapphira, “Sapphira, are these 1, 2 bags of money all the money you got from the sale of your land?”

Sapphira answered, “Y-ye-yes, it is, Peter.” OH NO! She just lied too!

Peter said, “Why did you and your husband decide together to test God’s Spirit? The feet of those who’ve buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out, too!” And, Sapphira died.

Did you know?

Woah. That sounds like God takes lying to the Holy Spirit very seriously? Did you notice that Ananias and Sapphira didn’t get “second chances” to tell the truth? Peter didn’t say, “I’m going to give you one more chance to tell the truth or God is going to kill you.” Nope. And they surely knew that they couldn’t hide from GOD. God knows everything, and sees everything. Still, Ananias and Sapphira were “testing” God by seeing if they could just sneak a little lie past God’s Family. But just like Peter told them, that WAS lying to God. And God made it clear — that was not okay with Him because Holiness in His House Matters.

I told you God was serious about protecting His Real House, this daily life together amongst His Family.

When everyone heard about what had happened, they were struck with fear.

The apostles continued to do many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers met together on Solomon’s Porch. But even though they were thought of very highly by all the people in the city, those who were not a part of them, didn’t dare to join them (because of what had happened with Ananias and Sapphira).

But… for those who would give Jesus their all, those folks DID dare to join them. And more and more and more men and women believed in Jesus and became part of the busy-buzzing-beehive community of God.

These people were ready for a relationship with God; they were ready to go up His mountain. The Holy Spirit was enlivening and filling those who were ready to give God their all and be holy. Those folks did Dare join themselves to God and His Family. Because the righteous are as bold as a lion. Roar!