Unit 29, Session 1: Ananias and Sapphira
Something amazing was happening among believers in the early church. Not only was the Holy Spirit changing people’s hearts to believe in Jesus, He was empowering them to live differently. We see the evidence of God’s grace among the believers in Acts 4:32-35. The believers shared everything they had. If one person had a need, someone else gladly gave what he had to meet that need. As a result, “there was not a needy person among them” (Acts 4:34).
Joseph (also known as Barnabas) was one of the disciples living in this way. He sold a field and gave the money to the apostles. But trouble arose when Ananias and his wife, Sapphira, sold some land. Perhaps they wanted to appear as generous as Barnabas without feeling the full cost of such generosity. They secretly kept back some of the money, and Ananias brought the rest to Peter.
When Peter confronted Ananias, he didn’t tell him he was wrong to only bring part of the money. In fact, Peter said Ananias could have been honest about how the money was divided. Ananias and Sapphira’s sin was in pretending to be generous when they were actually greedy. They had tried to deceive the apostles, but Peter pointed out that they were guilty of trying to deceive God. Ananias dropped dead, and a few hours later his wife did too.
As you teach this story to kids, avoid using Ananias and Sapphira as a warning to be generous or die.
As sinners, we struggle with the temptation of greed. Point your kids to Jesus, who forgives our greed and changes us through the Holy Spirit. Ananias and Sapphira wanted to look generous, but they were greedy. The Holy Spirit changes our hearts to want to share with those in need because Jesus generously gave all He had so we can share in His riches and have forgiveness and eternal life.
Ananias and Sapphira
Ananias and Sapphira wanted to look generous, but they were greedy. The Holy Spirit changes our hearts to want to share with those in need because Jesus generously gave all He had so we can share in His riches and have forgiveness and eternal life.
Family Discussion Questions
- How much of what they had did the early church believers share?
- Why did Ananias and Sapphira only pretend to give all their money to the disciples?
- Who changes our hearts to want to share what we have?
- What did Jesus give up to share His riches with us?
- Why does God want us to give generously?
• Who provided the perfect example of generosity?
Two Facts and a Fiction
-Instruct the kids to sit in a circle. Select a kid to start the game by making three statements about themselves.
-Two of them must be true, and one must be false. The other kids must determine which statement is not true.
-Continue playing until each kid has a chance to offer three statements.
In a fun game, we might say something untrue to be silly or entertain one another. Today, we will learn about two people who wanted to seem very generous without behaving very generously. They told a lie to trick church leaders.
Ever consider serving at church as a family? There are many ways and places to serve at Blackhawk. Families can serve together in some of the ministries. To find out more info, head to our website blackhawkministries.org.