The Children's Bible
The Generosity Of The Early Christians
ll of the believers were as one in heart and mind; and not one of them called what he had his own, but they all shared with one another. No one among them was in want, for those who owned lands or houses sold them and brought the money that came from the sale to the apostles. The money was then given to whoever needed it. Joseph, whom the apostles called Barnabas, sold his farm and brought the money to the apostles.
But a man named Ananias and his wife Sapphira sold some property, and with her approval kept back part of the price and brought only a part of it to the apostles. "Ananias," said Peter, "why has Satan put into your heart the desire to deceive the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land? While the land remained unsold, was it not your own? Even after it was sold, was not the money yours to do with as you pleased? How could you plan a thing like this? You have lied not to man but to God." When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and died; and great fear seized all who heard of it. The younger men arose, wrapped up the body, and carried it away to be buried.
About three hours later his wife came in, knowing nothing of what had taken place. Peter said to her, "Tell me, did you sell the land for so much?" And she answered, "Yes, for so much." Peter said to her, "How is it that you two agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? The men who have buried your husband are here at the door and they shall carry you out." Instantly she fell dead at his feet; so when the young men came in and found her dead, they carried her out and buried her beside her husband.
Then great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things. Many miracles and wonders were done among the people by the apostles. Even from the towns about Jerusalem crowds gathered, bringing sick people, and all were healed.