Acrimonious Acts

Can you put together the death with the deathee (i.e. the one who died with the way they died)?

1/ Eutychus

2/ Saphira

3/ Herod Agrippa

4/ Stephen

5/ James

6/ Simon the Sorceror

a/ destroyed

b/ got worshipped and then bumped off

c/ killed with a sword

d/ stoned by lots of angry people

e/ dropped dead

f/ fell to his death

1/ Eutychus fell asleep and then fell out of a window while Paul was preaching in Acts 20. This is actually not what it sounds, it wasn’t so much that Paul was going on and on and on… (if all those people who have fallen asleep in sermons ever since were taken out and laid end to end they’d go fifteen times round the earth) … no, the sermon Paul was preaching was more of a conversation, lots of people debating and chipping in. Eutychus fell asleep cause it went on late, they were in a warm room jammed with lots of people and lit with hot oil lamps. And there’s more… Eutychus didn’t stay dead… check out Acts 20.

2/ Sapphira was married to Ananias and they both died in a bizarre quiz to decide if they were telling the truth about how much they put into the collection plate. They claimed to sell a field and give away all the money. Er… they didn’t. Not quite. The disciples were the quiz masters and Ananias and Sapphira got the answers wrong. Hence the dropping dead part of the story. Check it out in Acts 5.

3/ Herod Agrippa had a good mate called Blastus. Not enough people in the world these days called Blastus I feel, but anyway, Blastus fixed it so that the folks from Tyre and Sidon to talk to the his worshipfulness. The problem was they then worshipped him as if he was a god and not just a king. Blam! End of story for Herod, cause he got carried away with his own awesomeness God finished him off good and proper. It’s all there in Acts 12.

4/ Stephen is one of the most famous deaths. He died whilst telling people about Jesus, killed with stones by a load of angry people who were trying to stop him. He saw a vision of Jesus as he died and it had a big impact on at least one other person. You might have heard of him. St Paul. Paul didn’t throw any stones he played the coat hanger so everyone else could move their arms a bit more when they threw rocks at Stephen. But not long after he was struck down himself – by God. He didn’t die – he just got born a second time. Acts 7 tells the full story.

5/ James was the first friend of Jesus to die. Stabbed with a sword. This was organised by Herod Agrippa – yes, the one who got confused about his won awesomeness and thought he was god! He had James, John’s brother, killed and then he only went and arrested Peter. Peter would have got killed too if it wasn’t for lots of people praying and an angel turning up with dynamite and busting him out of prison. Read the full thrilling tale in Acts 12. Although you might not find any dynamite.

6/ Simon the Sorceror tried to pay Peter and John so he could buy some of God’s power. Not a good idea. He’d already been stalking Philip for a while, watching him perform miracles, and then the top disciples turned up and everyone got zapped with God’s power! Simon, who was known himself as ‘the great one – the power of God’ thought he’d cash in and offered the disciples a huge wodge of money for some of what they had. He didn’t actually die – but Peter blasted him. Not with power, but with a good old fashioned telling off when Peter told him he and his money should be destroyed. Ouch! Not exactly a word of encouragement. Acts 8 tells it like it is.

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