Power comes at a price. Ananias and Sapphira devoted the proceeds of a land sale to the Lord, but then held some back. What they did seems quite trivial to us, but not in the context of a powerful move of God. We must keep our hearts pure if we are to enjoy the levels of anointing seen in the early Church. God isn’t looking for ways to judge us, but the more power there is around, the more responsibly you have to behave. Jesus said it like this: ‘For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required’ (Luke 12:48).
That the early Church was walking in great power is evident from verses 12 to 21. The healing anointing on Peter was so strong, that even his shadow falling on you would get you healed. Not even Jesus carried that level of anointing!
Power comes with persecution. Gamaliel’s advice to the religious authorities in verses 35 to 39 – don’t rush to judgment, don’t risk fighting against God – is ignored even today. Two minutes on Twitter is evidence enough, and Christians sadly find themselves persecuted as much by fellow believers as by anyone else.
But with persecution comes the promise of great reward – see Jesus’ promise to the faithful in Mark 10: 29-30: ‘Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time – houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions – and in the age to come, eternal life.’