Saturday, June 2, 2012

Acts, Chapters 3 & 4: Imagine no possessions

Chapter 3

Peter and John go to the temple at prayer time. They're waylaid by a crippled man who asks them for money. But they just look at the guy, then finally say, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. (v. 6) It works and the guy immediately starts jumping around and shouting and praising god. The other worshippers are amazed and go over to Peter and John, who disdainfully remind them about how they killed Jesus, though he concedes it was done in ignorance. But! If they convert now, they'll still get into heaven. People who don't however, are going to hell when the world ends in a few weeks.

Chapter 4

The priests and Sadducees discover Peter and John and are disappointed that killing Jesus didn't have the intended effect of also destroying his movement. So they arrest them which has the effect of converting 5000 more people. 

The next day, Peter and John are hauled before a priestly council to answer for their little stunt. Peter says it was Jesus, and reminds them that they killed him. The lordly class is shocked by the boldness of these two men who have clearly had no education and whom they recognize as friends of Jesus. They also can find no reason to doubt the lame man's mobility, so they send them all away.

Once alone, the priests confer about what to do now. They decide to erase the whole thing and intimidate Peter and John to not talk about it. John and Peter are unimpressed, asking the priests if they should obey them or god. The priests threaten them some more, but are forced to let them go because they're afraid their people will riot again. For some reason, the bible is at pains to point out that the healed man was over 40. 

The disciples run back to their apartment to tell the others what happend. The group prays, which causes an earthquake. Also, they live in a communist hippy paradise where they own everything collectively. Occasionally a follower will sell up his land or stuff and give them the money to divy up.

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