There was no needy person among them. (4:34a)
No one among the first few thousand Christians in Jerusalem had material needs?
Christians can’t say that today. Of course, there are many times more Christians today than there was back then, and in many more impoverished areas of the world. Still, that is an incredible claim. Oh, for that to be true today!
How was that possible? We have part of the answer if we back up a few sentences:
Nobody said that they owned their property; instead, they had everything in common. (4:32b)
This is the thinking that makes the lack of need possible: the realization that the material blessings that come our way are not our own. We are stewards of God’s possessions. We are conduits not swimming pools — blessings come in order to flow through us and out, not be collected for our leisure. I need a new mind in this regard. The feeling that makes this kind of radical care for the community of believers is in the sentence before this one:
The company of those who believed had one heart and soul. (4:32a)
A solidarity of spirit. A unified soul. A deep kindredness that has knit people together as one. When that happens how could we let our brothers and sisters in Christ suffer in need? I need a new heart in this area too.
Maybe that is the secret. In only three chapters since the outpouring of the Holy Spirit we have seen a sea change in these disciples. They have a new understanding they did not have before. They are now becoming known for harnessing extraordinary power to heal. In this chapter especially we have seen a boldness they certainly didn’t have two months before. Now they possess a sacrificial love for each other. How did they do it?
They didn’t. The Holy Spirit came upon them in a deeply transforming way. Their new mind and the new heart came from above.