Acts 5:1-11, Pt. 1: There’s so much talk about the mercy of Jesus and the love of God in the New Testament that it’s pretty jarring when the text reminds us of his role as judge. In Acts 5 a couple decides to try to pull a fast one on God and they get caught. It’s not surprising that people cooked up schemes to get ahead (we know people do that all the time), what is surprising is that they both dropped dead on the spot when they got caught.
What are we supposed to make of this? Was this the work of God? If it was, would such an act be a violation of his own principles? Why did it happen? Why doesn’t it happen all the time? Why would the biblical author include something like this that might make the church look bad?
I still screw around like an idiot for part of this episode, but the subject matter is weighty and it’s something I take seriously. I’m going for an honest reading and explanation of the passage coupled with some honest grappling with some really big questions it raises.