Acts, Chapter 6 - Choosing of the Seven
6 Now at this time while the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint arose on the part of the Hellenistic Jews against the native Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily serving of food.
- Now at this time while the disciples were increasing in number
o The church was growing and more and more people became followers of Jesus
- A complaint arose on the part of the Hellenistic Jews against the native Hebrews
o What is a Hellenistic Jew?
§ Hellenistic Jews were those who adopted Greek language and culture
§ They lived outside of Jerusalem and spoke Greek rather than Hebrew
o What is a native Hebrew
o These were Jews who lived in Jerusalem and spoke Hebrew
o They took pride in living and speaking like their forefathers
o They made the Hellenistic Jews feel like outsiders (less important)
- Because their widows were being overlooked in the daily serving of food
o In other words, the native Jews didn’t always feed the widows that were Helenistic Jews
o This has the potential to become a real wedge among the Jews who believed in Jesus Christ (let’s read on and see how they handled it)
2 So the twelve summoned the congregation of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables.
- The twelve apostles summoned the congregation
o When all twelve summon the congregation it must be serious
- It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God
o In order to serve tables
o They were placing a higher value on the word of God than feeding widows
3 Therefore, brethren, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task.
- Therefore (because the widows were being neglected because the apostles were too busy)
- Brethren (these are Christian brothers in the faith)
- Select from among you seven men of good reputation
o Seven is the number for completion and perfection
o Of good reputation (what others said about them; not their own testimony)
o Full of the Spirit and of wisdom (it could be seen and their conduct would display God’s wisdom in all matters)
- Whom we may put in charge of this task
o What task?
o Feeding the widows
o Notice that the widows deserved to be served by men
o It would an honor to become a bondservant to serve God by serving these women
o Jesus said if you want to be the greatest in heaven, be the servant of all
4 But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” 5 The statement found approval with the whole congregation; and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch. 6 And these they brought before the apostles; and after praying, they laid their hands on them.
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