Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands on them.
And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.
Comment: We’ve read earlier in Acts of the thousands who came into the early church. We have heard that the people shared and cared for one another and here we hear of a few problems. Those of pure Hebrew speaking Jewish origin and those either born or brought up in Greek areas – maybe proselytes, maybe living outside Israel – were apparently being treated differently. So a practical solution which allowed the apostles to keep on preaching was sorted out. The small group were becoming a sizeable organization and needed some simple loving organization.
Prayer: Help us as a church to be understanding, forgiving and caring as we live together from our different backgrounds, please.