Ever wondered how the disciples of Jesus got on after he disappeared? Well just fine; because apparently he had given them special powers – they had the authority, and supposedly the ability, to drive out devils and heal the sick.
And there was a new grace and sense of community in the land. Any that lacked land or possessions or lived in poverty needn’t worry: because those that had, cared for them so much that that they sold off their own possessions and brought the profits to the Apostles to be distributed amongst the needy. The poor had never had it so good – even when the big man was alive.
However, there was a man named Ananias who sold his land so that he could help the needy, but he decided, not unreasonably you would agree, to keep some of his own money for himself, and his wife Sapphira thought likewise. So when he took the profits to the Apostles, he held some back.
But he couldn’t fool Peter; certainly not now that he has been given special powers. Peter deduced that Satan was at work here, and he confronted Ananias. He told him that he had lied, not only to men – but to God. It seems that Ananias was punished for this; because he gave up the ghost and dropped down dead at Peter’s feet. Peter simply ordered some young men who were present to carry the body off and bury it.
Sapphira turned up three hours later; blissfully unaware of the days events, and guess who was waiting for her? Did our good apostle with his special healing powers break the news gently to her? Given the fact the Satan was a suspect in the matter, maybe some sympathy would be show to the newly widowed woman; or maybe not.
Peter demands to know how much they sold their land for, and why they have tempted the Spirit of the Lord. He then cruelly tells her that: the feet of those who buried thy husband are at the door – and shall now carry thee out. She gave up the ghost and dropped down dead at his feet. They carried her out and buried her next to her husband. And great fear came upon the church and all who heard of it. And of course where would religion be without fear to keep the superstitious masses in their place?
So there we have it; either God, or Peter with his license to kill, struck them both down dead, no second chance. Where is the God of forgiveness that Jesus told us of? Doesn’t the church claim that repentance washes away our sins. It seems that old habits die hard for God, he’s back to his old spiteful murderous ways of the old testament; he just loves bloodshed. They were killed for lying to God – a great sin. And here we have Peter; the man who lied about knowing Christ – three times before the cock crowed twice: and here he is dishing out retribution as if he was a bloody saint.
All just another bloody ridiculous story from a ridiculous bloody book of folk-history.