“Life in the new community isn’t perfect. However, the believers don’t allow their linguistic and social barriers to divide the church; instead, the emissaries seize this opportunity to create greater unity between disparate groups” (TVB)
“They appoint seven leaders, mostly Greek-speaking (based on their names), to oversee the distribution of food. This movement toward unity will be a challenge to the future church that will so easily be divided by any problem, real or perceived” (TVB).
Things were going well, and the number of disciples was growing. But a problem arose. The Greek-speaking believers became frustrated with the Hebrew-speaking believers. The Greeks complained that the Greek-speaking widows were being discriminated against in the daily distribution of food.2 The twelve convened the entire community of disciples.
The Twelve: We could solve this problem ourselves, but that wouldn’t be right. We need to focus on proclaiming God’s message, not on distributing food.
3 So, friends, find seven respected men from the community of faith. These men should be full of the Holy Spirit and full of wisdom. Whomever you select we will commission to resolve this matter 4 so we can maintain our focus on praying and serving—not meals—but the message.
5 The whole community—Greek-speaking and Hebrew-speaking—was very pleased with this plan, so they chose seven men: Stephen (a man full of faith and full of the Holy Spirit), Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas (a Greek-speaking convert from Antioch).
6 These men were presented to the apostles, who then prayed for them and commissioned them by laying their hands on them. 7 The message of God continued to spread, and the number of disciples continued to increase significantly there in Jerusalem. Even priests in large numbers became obedient to the faith (Acts 6:1-7, TVB).
The Voice (VOICE)
The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.