Kids Lesson: Ananias and Sapphira
Ananias and Sapphira – Acts 4-5
Ananias and Sapphira wanted to look generous, but they were greedy. The Holy Spirit changes our hearts to want to share with those in need because Jesus generously gave all He had so we can share in His riches and have forgiveness and eternal life.
One Body In Christ
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We who are many are one body in Christ. - Romans 12:5
Bible Story - Ananias and Sapphira
Bible Story Video
The Holy Spirit gave Jesus’ disciples power to tell others that Jesus is alive! More and more people trusted in Jesus. The believers met together in Jerusalem, and they shared everything they had. No one said, “This is mine!” Everything they had belonged to all of them. No one was needy because the other believers would sell what they had to make sure everyone had enough. One man, Barnabas, sold a field and gave the money to Jesus’ disciples. They used the money to help other people. Ananias and his wife, Sapphira, sold some land and pretended to give all of the money to the disciples. But they actually kept some of the money for themselves. When Ananias gave the money to the disciples, Peter asked him, “Why are you lying about what you gave? You are lying to God.” When Ananias heard this, he fell down, died, and was buried. The people who heard what happened were afraid. A few hours later, Sapphira came to the disciples. She did not know what had happened to her husband. Peter asked her, “Is this all the money you got for the land?” Sapphira said, “Yes, that’s all of it.”Peter told Sapphira he knew she was lying to God. Then Sapphira fell dead too, and everyone in the church was afraid because of what happened to Ananias and Sapphira.
Bible Story Summary
- The believers in Jerusalem shared everything they had.
- Ananias and Sapphira pretended to be generous and lied about what they gave to the disciples.
- God punished them.
- How much of what they had did the early church believers share?
- Why did Ananias and Sapphira only pretend to give all their money to the disciples?
- Who changes our hearts to want to share what we have?
- What did Jesus give up to share His riches with us?
Ask each family member to choose one possession to give to an organization or person in need.
Download PDF (Lessons for January 10 through January 31)
Play A Sharing Game
Form a circle on the floor. Ask a child to hold out her hands together in front of her. Fill her hands with as many of the small items as she can hold. Encourage her to turn to the child next to her and gently dump all the items into his hands without spilling any onto the floor. Guide children to continue to pass all the items from one child’s hands to the next, without spilling them. If the items spill, start the game over with another child going first. Repeat until the items successfully make it around the circle without being spilled.
Say: We played a fun game where we had to share everything that we had with everyone in the circle. In our Bible story today, we will hear about how the early church was generous and shared everything they had with each other. One couple was not so generous, though. We will hear about them too.
Elementary Discussion Questions
Help your kids find Acts 4. Ask the following questions:
Who sold his land and gave all the money to the church? (Joseph, also called Barnabas; Acts 4:36-37)
When Ananias and Sapphira sold their land, did they give all the money? (No, Acts 5:1-2)
Why did Ananias and Sapphira die? (They lied to God, Acts 5:3-4, 8-9)
Why does God want us to give money to the church? Help kids see that God doesn’t need our money. Remind them that all of creation belongs to Him. He created us and needs nothing from us. Help them see that God’s desire for us is to experience the joy that comes from generous giving. He allows us to be a part of His wonderful mission to save sinners, and He wants us to be cheerful in the way we participate, including by giving generously.
What are some ways we can give generously? Guide kids to think beyond just giving money. Help them think about ways they can give time or talent by serving the church. Explain that generosity is not about the amount you give but the attitude of your heart when you give.
Do you think we should give even if we don’t want to? Encourage kids to answer this question honestly. Remind kids that sometimes the act of giving can help change our hearts to want to give. Help them see that refusal to give usually reveals sin in their hearts, even though not giving isn’t itself sinful.
Close with this: Ananias and Sapphira lied about their gift to the church. They wanted to appear generous without actually allowing the Holy Spirit to make them generous. Giving doesn’t save us, and we don’t have to give; but when we love God, He helps us want to.