Though there is much to be intriguing here, my eye was captured by 4:33–34 “And God’s grace was to powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them.”
Talk about a compelling picture of the church!
First, I noticed God’s grace wasn’t just at work within the church’s leadership, although it started there. God’s grace was working in them all. What a great image! That means that the whole church … and there were 5000 of them, remember – was focused on one thing: Jesus Christ and in following his ways. When the church puts the ministry and the mission of Jesus above all else, then God’s grace just naturally flows through us in powerful ways.
Second, the church took care of each other. For me, this is a key tenet of what it means to Be the Church. The church members step up and take care of One-Another. Notice, the author (Luke) is careful to let his readers know that the benevolence of the church was focused on those who were practicing members of the church: there were no needy persons among them. It wasn’t the apostles who were doing the member care, though they clearly were the ones who put procedures into place for the distribution of the funding (4:35). It was the church … those “all” of verse 33 who made effective membership care so … well, effective!
What would it be like to be a part of a church that took seriously this key tenet? – that members take care of the needs of members. For me, that’s what it means to Be the Church!