This Week's Story

Two liars, posing as generous donors, are exposed.

This Week’s Story relives American history and the Bible through brief inspiring stories presented on mp3 audio recordings and text for reading.

Two Liars

Do you know the shocking story in the Bible about a lying husband and wife?  We could ask, “God, why did you kill them?”

It helps to know some background to the story.   Dramatic events had been happening in Jerusalem.  There had been the crucifixion and the resurrection of Jesus.  Many people in Jerusalem believed that Jesus was God.  They began to meet together and to care about each other.  Several thought, “There should not be poverty among us, when some of us have plenty of food, clothing, and money.” So they shared what they owned.  Their giving was voluntary.  No dictator or rule enforced their giving.

 One fellow, Barnabas, sold a field he owned and brought the money to the leaders of the new believers.  He said, “I want you to take this money and use it to help people.”

Then a husband and wife, Ananias and Sapphira, who called themselves believers, sold some of their property.  They wanted people to think that they were generous.  Actually they were a sneaky team and mutually decided to tell a lie.  They would give part of the money

from the sale to help the poor, but they would declare that they were giving all the money.  Ananias brought the money to the church leaders, and declared, “Here is a gift to help needy people.  This is all the money we received from a property sale.  We sincerely hope to lessen poverty among our family of believers.”

Peter, one of the leaders, looked at him and accused him. “Ananias, you are lying to God.  This is not all the money you made.  Remember you did not have to sell the property or give any of the money away. To pretend that you are generous and compassionate, when you are lying, is despicable.  Jesus despises hypocrisy; yet you say that you are a follower of Him.”

As soon as Peter spoke, to everyone’s shock, Ananias fell to the floor dead.  People who saw or heard of the event were terrified. Three hours later Sapphira came to meet her husband.  She knew nothing about what had happened to him.  Peter asked her, “Sapphira, was the money your husband brought here earlier, the entire amount you received for the property you sold?”

“Yes,” she replied, “that was the price of the land.  My husband and I were inspired by Barnabas’ gift to the poor.  We hoped our gift would encourage others to give to the needy.”

 Peter exclaimed, “How could you and your husband think of telling such a lie? You were actually plotting to test God.  Outside this room’s door are young men who just buried your husband.  Now they will carry you outside.”

 Instantly Sapphira fell to the floor and died.  Young men carried her outside and buried her beside her husband.

Those who were there and those who heard about it, were silenced.  Their minds were busy with the question: What did this mean?  Were they to live in terror of God?  That did not agree with what they knew about Him. They realized more than ever that God hates the effects of lying. He is willing to make strong consequences for it. Giving is to be with a right heart attitude.

This is Barbara Steiner and I appreciate the challenges of this Bible story.

<< previous story] [next story >>


We invite your comments!  [click here to comment]

Let's Talk

What is the point of serving when you lie about it? from Brayden

This story was really dramatic.  God really got his point across.    from Sunny

Dear Sunny,

This story gives us a picture of God's willingness to judge hypocrisy swiftly.  Leah via Mrs. Steiner

Right is better than wrong.   from Rhett

Dear Rhett,

Wrong is never right.  Right is choosing the better path.  My heart is happy when I read your words.  Thank you!    Leah

I don't really see why it matters why they were giving the money as long as the people got it.   from Jenny

Dear Jenny,

Apparently God intended to set an example with the deaths of Ananias and Sapphira.  Giving is great. Giving and lying about it defeats the whole purpose.   Leah


Facebook Join the conversation.

This Week's Story is a non-profit supported by listeners. [click here to make a donation with ]