Today’s reading is Acts 4.
“There was not a needy person among them…”
If we read this too quickly, we may pass right through this profound statement and miss what is really going on. To us today, this can be a quaint picture of togetherness in the first congregation: “Oh, how sweet! They loved each other and cared for each other.” That, however, is only the surface of what is happening. Luke is calling to mind a passage from the Old Testament. In Deuteronomy 15:4, God, describing how He would care for the kingdom of Israel, explained, “But there will be no poor among you.” Then the chapter goes on to explain that the reason there wouldn’t be any poor was not because everyone would own their own home, have their own very productive farm, enjoy lucrative businesses or employment. No, rather, some would be financially blessed and others would not be. However, those who were blessed would share with those who weren’t. In that way, everyone in God’s kingdom would be taken care of, and there would be no needy among them. Regrettably, Israel failed horribly. They were judged not only because they didn’t love God, but because they didn’t love one another. With that in the background, Luke paints the picture of the first congregation. Where the kingdom of Israel failed, Christ’s kingdom succeeded. Those who had the blessings did not horde them as their own, but sold and shared. And among them, the needs of the needy were provided. There were no needy among them. Amazing. How is that working for us today?
Next weeks’s reading is Acts 5.Continue reading “No Needy Among Them”