5:1 But 1 a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,
(1) Luke shows by contrary examples how great a
sin hypocrisy is, especially in those who under a false pretence and cloak of
zeal seem to shine and be of great importance in the Church.
5:2 And a
kept back [part] of the price, his wife also being privy [to it], and brought a
certain part, and laid [it] at the apostles' feet.
(a) Craftily took away.
5:3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan b
filled thine heart c to lie to the Holy
Ghost, and to keep back [part] of the price of the land?
(b) Fully possessed.
(c) For when they had appointed that farm or
possession for the Church, they were foolish to keep away a part of the price,
as though they were dealing with men, and not with God, and therefore he says
afterwards that they tempted God.
5:4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and
after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou d
conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.
(d) By this is meant an advised and purposeful
deceit, and the fault of the man in listening to the devil's suggestions.
Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to e
tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy
husband [are] at the f door, and shall
carry thee out.
(e) Look how often men do things with an evil
conscience; and so they pronounce sentence against themselves, and as much as
in them lies, they provoke God to anger, as they do this on purpose, in order
to test whether he is just and almighty or not.
(f) Are at hand.
And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.
(2) The Lord by his marvellous power bridles some
so that they may not hurt the Church: others he keeps in awe and fear of him:
and others he draws unto himself.
5:13 And of the rest durst no
man join himself to them: but the people g
(g) Highly praised them.
3 Then the high priest rose up, and all
they that were with him, (which is the h
sect of the Sadducees,) and were filled with indignation,
(3) The more that the Church increases, the more
the rage os Satan increases, and therefore they proceed from threats to
(h) The word which is used here is
"heresy", which signifies a choice, and so is taken for a right form
of learning, or faction, or study and course of life, which the Latins call a
sect: at first this word was used indifferently, but at length it came to be
used only in reference to evil, whereupon came the name of "heretic"
which is taken for one that goes astray from sound and wholesome doctrine in
such a way that he thinks lightly of the judgment of God and his Church, and
continues in his opinion, and breaks the peace of the Church.
But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them
forth, and said,
(4) Angels are made servants of the servants of
5:20 5 Go,
stand and speak in the temple to the people all the i
words of this life.
(5) God therefore delivers his own, so that they
may more vigorously provoke his enemies.
(i) Words by which the way unto life is shown.
5:21 6 And
when they heard [that], they entered into the temple early in the morning, and
taught. But the high priest came, and they that were with him, and called the
council together, and all the senate of the children of Israel, and sent to the
prison to have them brought.
(6) God mocks his enemies attempts from above.
7 Then came one and told them, saying,
Behold, the men whom ye put in prison are standing in the temple, and teaching
(7) The more openly that Christ's power shows
itself, the more the madness of his enemies who conspire against him
5:26 8 Then
went the captain with the officers, and brought them without violence: for they
feared the people, lest they should have been stoned.
(8) Tyrants who do not fear God are forced to
fear his servants.
Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name?
and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend k
to bring this man's blood upon us.
(9) It is the characteristic of tyrants to set
down their own commandments as right and proper, be they ever so wicked.
(k) Make us guilty of murdering that man whom yet
they will not condescend to name.
5:29 10 Then
Peter and the [other] apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather
(10) We should obey man only in so far that in
obeying him we also obey God.
5:30 11 The
God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.
(11) Christ is appointed and indeed declared
Prince and preserver of his Church, in spite of his enemies.
And we are his witnesses of these things; and [so is] also the Holy Ghost, whom
God hath given to them that obey him.
(12) It is not sufficient for us that there is a
proper goal, but we must also according to our calling go forward until we
come to it.
5:33 When they heard [that], they l
were cut [to the heart], and took counsel to slay them.
(l) This shows that they were in a most vehement
rage, and tremendously disquieted in mind, for it is a borrowed kind of speech
taken from those who are harshly cut in pieces with a saw.
5:34 13 Then
stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the
law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the apostles
forth a little space;
(13) Christ finds defenders of his cause, even in
the very company of his enemies, as often as he thinks necessary.
For before these days rose up Theudas, m
boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred,
joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were
scattered, and brought to nought.
(14) In matters of religion we must take good
heed that we attempt nothing under a pretence of zeal to which we have not
(m) To be of same fame.
5:38 And now I say unto you, n
Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be
of o men, it will come to nought:
(n) He dissuades his fellows from murdering the
apostles, neither does he think it good to refer the matter to the Roman
magistrate, for the Jews could endure nothing worse than to have the tyranny
of the Romans confirmed.
(o) If it is counterfeit and devised.
And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were
counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.
(15) The apostles, accustomed to suffer and bear
words, are eventually accustomed to bearing stripes, and yet in such a way
that by means of them they become stronger.
5:42 And daily in the p
temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.
(p) Both publicly and privately.