Daily Bread in Acts

church division

Human nature has not changed since the foundations of the world. Selfishness, pride, and justification are not new. In Acts 6, an incident occurs that could happen today.

And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.

The Grecians are the Gentiles. This is a division of the body of Christ where there are no Jews and Gentiles in the spirit. The Jews were being racist by omitting the Gentiles during the daily sharing of food provisions. This is not an accounting problem, but a spiritual problem. The Gentiles have always been second class citizens to the Jews. They called them “dogs”. This act was an intentional shortchanging justified by “we are better than them”. The Gentiles complained to the apostles about this unfair practice.

Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.

The apostles remind the disciples that they have an apostolic ministry serving thousands of members.

Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.

The apostles instructed the disciples to choose seven from the disciples that have the following traits: stellar character, active in the manifestations of the spirit, and spiritually wise. These men will oversee the daily distribution. Notice that the apostles did not pick the seven, but delegated the election to the disciples. Delegation is one of the keys to a growing church.

This was not a counting problem that could be solved with a project manager and a bookkeeper. This was a spiritual problem that needed to be confronted and resolved, especially among the Jewish disciples. That’s why these men needed to be strong believers.

But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:

These disciples chose an excellent group of men, led by Stephen. Natural problems can be resolved with natural talents, but supernatural problems require people with spiritual maturity.

 

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