Ananias and Sapphira

How many of you learned this story as kids back in Sunday School? Was it one of those flannelgraph stories along with Noah and the Ark, David and Goliath and Zacchaeus. “Kids, what did you learn in SS this morning?” “We learned this really cool story about this guy Ananias who told a lie and God zapped him, sort of like in Star Wars.” This is one of the scary, hard stories in the Bible. This highlights the pros and cons of preaching week after week through a book of the Bible. The pastor doesn’t get to cherry pick favorite passages, and we are forced to hear the whole counsel of God’s true and inspired Word. This story more than many in the Bible stirs up all kinds of questions. It is especially difficult for us modern readers. We get visions of Peter with super powers getting the Holy Spirit to zap people on the spot, without any chance to repent. Some commentators say this is a legend made up to explain a couple of sudden deaths in the church. Some people go so far as to say this is a tyrannical God having a temper tantrum.