New Testament: Acts 2:42-47 (Easter 4: Series A)

Reading Time: 2 mins

The teaching of the Apostles, the fellowship of believers, the breaking of bread and prayer lay out the components of worship.

The First Reading for this Sunday is from the Acts of the Apostles. The text is Acts 2:42-47 and is a continuation of Peter’s speech we looked at last week. The structure of chapter two is very interesting and we can see what Peter is doing as we look at it as a whole. Last week the text was 2:36-41 and the focus of this section was Baptism. Now, this week as we look at 2:42-47. We see the focus is on how the Church functions, especially as it celebrates the Lord’s Supper. Then note the book ends to these sections; 2:1-35 shows the Word of God working as the truth of Christ cuts them to the heart, and 3:1-10 illustrates the Word of God performing what the Word says it will do. It is the Word of Jesus which brings healing to the lame man. It is interesting how Peter has worked the teaching concerning Word and Sacrament and the means of grace into a short, yet detailed sermon.

The teaching of the Apostles, the fellowship of believers, the breaking of bread and prayer lay out the components of worship. Thus, in this context, it appears that the breaking of the bread is the celebration of the Eucharist. It is possible, however, the later reference to breaking bread together in their homes in verse 46 could be the fellowship, agape meal which would precede and be in addition to the Lord’s Supper.

While the, “having all things in common,” was a part of the newly minted church in Jerusalem, it is nowhere mandated that this is or must be a special mark of the Church. It is interesting to note that they are still meeting in the Temple daily. This will last until they are expelled by the Jewish powers that be. Eventually, both the Jews and the Christians will want to be distinguished one from the other. The place of worship is one aspect of this distinction, and of course, the theology (this is where the Jews stop focusing as heavily upon “bodily resurrection”). We also note how the way the Scriptures where physically relayed is different. The Jews remain with the scroll system, but the Christians adopt (90%) the codex form—later it becomes “book” form. I would imagine the Jewish leaders were facing the problem of their members being “stolen” by this new sect called Christians!

2:42 προσκαρτεροῦντες from: προσκαρτερέω Present, participle: “to be strong; to be steadfast; to carry on (in faith); to be devoted to” See also Acts 1:14

κλάσει “breaking” Used for both the Eucharist and an ordinary meal.

2:43 Ἐγίνετο from: γίνομαι Imperfect, middle: “to do; “being done””

2:44 πιστεύοντες from: πιστεύω Aorist, participle: “to believe”

2:45 κτήματα “possession; personal property; belongings”

ἐπίπρασκον from: πιπράσκω Imperfect: “to sell (to sell from time to time)”

διεμέριζον from: διαμερίζω Imperfect: “to distribute; to pass out (share)”

2:46 κλῶντές from: κλάω Present, participle: “to break”

μετελάμβανον from: μεταλαμβάνω Imperfect: “to partake of; to share in”

ἀφελότητι “generosity; singleness”

2:47 αἰνοῦντες from: αἰνέω Present, participle: “to praise”

προσετίθει from: προστίθημι Imperfect: “to add”


Additional Resources:

Concordia Theology-Various helps from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, MO to assist you in preaching Acts 2:42-47.

Text Week-A treasury of resources from various traditions to help you preach Acts 2:42-47.