And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common.Acts 2:42-44 ESV
In Acts 2:44, Luke reports on the church at Jerusalem, “Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common (Acts 2:44 NKJV).” We usually understand this to mean provision, food, clothing, etc. That is certainly true, but there was clearly more than that. They were aware of something they had in common that prompted them to be spontaneously generous with others who believed. Kenneth Wuest translates it this way: “And all those who believed were gathered together as a unit and were holding all things in joint-participation.” They were a unit. It was how they viewed themselves: we are participating together in a joint operation. We are one.
To our American mindset of individual autonomy and responsibility, a community-based outlook is difficult. However, the New Testament picture of a body that requires the cooperation of every part in order for any part to flourish should prompt us to consider a new paradigm. We have more in common than just being a particular race, or denomination, or gender, or social class. We share things that transcend those mundane characteristics as much as space travel transcends walking barefoot on dirt paths. In today’s video we begin to learn how to tap into the power of being a people, not just a person.