Ananias and Saphira Dare Lie to God

Ananias and Saphira Dare Lie to God

 Based on Acts 5

 POY! SKIT GUIDELINES:

  • In a small group, participants might simply read their lines, or glance at their lines to get the idea so they can speak in their own words.
  • Most POY! skits require no practice in advance.
  • Have any small children play a brief part. Most scripts have an optional part for children, listed last under Participants.
  • Most scripts have a Narrator who should read the script beforehand to see how to keep moving the story along.
  • It is not necessary to employ costumes and objects, unless the skit recommends such.
  • It is not required to have an audience watch the skit. All present may participate.
  • Scripture and paraphrases, if any, usually appear in bold.

PARTICIPANTS:

Barnabas (also serves as Narrator)
Peter
Ananias
Saphira
Prompter (
Optional). Prompter shouts a brief line and Companions repeat it.
Companions (
Optional): children and all adults who want to take part. Make sure Companions know who the Prompter is, and that they are to repeat Prompter’s words.

SCRIPT:

 

Part I. God’s Severely Punishes Those who Lie to Him

Saphira

Ananias, which dress should I wear?

Ananias

Well, one that reflects our social standing, Saphira. We are to meet with the apostles.

Saphira

Of course; we must be careful about appearances. I disapprove of some who have joined our congregation. Those Greeks are not of our chosen race, they lack social standing here in Jerusalem, and they are so ignorant about our Jewish Torah. They live in hovels!

Ananias

The apostles want those who have assets to spare to sellthemand give funds to care for poor disciples. Jews from many lands celebrated the Feast of Pentecost and became believers. They stayed on in our newly formed church, without land or income.

Saphira

How foolish! Why don’t they just go home?!

Ananias

Exactly! You know who began the fuss over helping the needy. Barnabas! He sold that large tract of land and laid the proceeds at the apostles’ feet! Imagine!

Saphira

Leave it to Barney to make people feel guilty unless they follow his example.

Ananias

Well, he’s not going to outdo us. We will see that everyone knows that we give, too.

Saphira

Oh! Ah… What do you have in mind, Ananias?

Ananias

We will sell that stony field and keep a bit of the money aside for ourselves.

Barnabas

The next day, Peter and I, Barnabas, arrive at James’ house for a meeting.

Peter

Barnabas, I appreciate the compassion you have for those who are suffering.

Barnabas

We will all happily provide for them. After all, we are one in Christ.

Prompter &
Companions

One in Christ! One in Christ!

Peter

Oh, here come Ananias and Saphira. She’s aptly named, glittering with jewels!

Barnabas

Others arrive also; we pray, and Peter reviews what God has been doing.

Peter

Brothers, the Holy Spirit has been amazingly active among us, uniting us as one heart and soul, moving us all to share joyfully with those in need.

Barnabas

I am astounded at the power the Holy Spirit has given you apostles to testify to the resurrection of our Lord Jesus. Thousands are coming to faith.

Ananias

Barnabas, you talk as if the Holy Spirit were also God. But we have only one God.

Barnabas

The Holy Spirit is God, but we did not come to discuss theology, but to agree to care for the poor among us.

Ananias

Let us simply put in a request to the Jewish Sanhedrin’s benevolence fund. Oh! You are all shaking your heads, no! Well then, let us give a tenth of the offerings to those poor folk.

Peter

We will give them whatever they need, Ananias, with God’s help.

Saphira

We can build a Nutrition center, and later use the center to hold dinners and church socials. Ananias and I are ready to donate. I would love to see our names on a wall plaque!

Barnabas

The next few days, those who have property sell it to provide for the destitute.
Even Ananias and his wife Saphira give, and make quite a show of it.

 

Later, Peter and I are alone with Ananias, and Peter confronts him.

Peter

Ananias, I am aware that you let Satan move you to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land. No one forced you to sell it. It was yours to do as you liked. And, after selling it, no one forced you to give. Why have you devised this deceit in your heart? You have not lied to men. How perilous to lie to God!

Prompter &
Companions

How perilous to lie to God!

Barnabas

 

What occurs next brings fear to all of us. Hearing Peter’s words, Ananias falls down and breathes his last. Young mencover him up, carry him out and bury him.

Three hours pass, and Ananias’ wife comes in, not knowing what happened.

Peter

Saphira, tell me honestly whether you sold your land for the price you said.

Saphira

Of course, Peter. That was the price.

Peter

 

Oh, Saphira! Why did you and Ananias agree together to test the Lord?

Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door.
They will carry you out, too.

Barnabas

Saphira falls, breathing her last, and the young men bury her beside her husband.

Peter

People fear and hold us believers in high esteem. They do not dare to associate with us, except the great numbers who trust in Jesus. Praise His name!

Prompter &
Companions

Praise His name! Praise His name!

 

 

Part II. Ananias and Saphira in a Modern Setting

Barnabas

Now let us see Ananias and Saphira in a current setting in America, with a happier outcome since they have learned from their namesakes in the ancient Jerusalem church.

Ananias

 

Saphira, I have always wanted to visit Mexico. Since we lead our church’s young people, let us ask our elders to send our young people on a mission trip to Mexico City. Then you and I can have a free vacation!

 

Barnabas

Peter and I are shepherding elders, and Ananias comes to us with his wife Saphira.

Ananias

Peter and Barnabas, our young people would benefit from experiencing another culture and evangelizing with an interpreter. Could the congregation sponsor a trip to Mexico?

Peter

Are you sure that “experiencing another culture and evangelizing” are all you want? Might you have other motives, Ananias?

Ananias

Oh, no, Peter! We only want the youth to see another culture and tell about Jesus.

Barnabas

That is all? Are you sure?

Saphira

Of course, Barnabas! That is our only motive. Nothing else.

Barnabas

Nothing else? Then I can save you a large amount of money. Down the street half a mile lives a colony of recently arrived Mexicans. They brought their culture with them, and you will find them receptive to the gospel. I know Spanish and can translate for you.

Ananias

Oh… That is not quite what we had in mind, Barnabas. The youth want a foreign trip.

Peter

And perhaps, you, too, would enjoy visiting Mexico? A sort of vacation?

Saphira

Ah… Well, Peter, that was on our minds.

Peter

It is normal and wholesome to want to travel and see exotic lands. No sin at all! But just admit it! Let us not pretend to have purely spiritual motives.
Now, let us start all over again and discuss a mission trip for our young people.

Barnabas

A well-planned trip can be very edifying for you, the young people, and the Mexicans.

Peter

It is so important to be honest with our motives! We all struggle with that at times.

Barnabas

Oh yes! Congregations die spiritually when they put their own desires before Jesus’ commands and justify their disobedience by attributing holy motives to what they do.

Ananias

Lord, help us be truthful!

Prompter &
Companions

Help us be truthful! Help us be truthful!

DISCUSS:

What importance does God attach to caring for the hungry and destitute?

How might your (our) church better integrate mercy work with its other vital tasks?

Why did God punish Ananias and Saphira so severely?

In what ways have churches that you have known put less important activities ahead of Jesus’ commands?

 

 

 

 

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