6 In those days the number of believers was growing. The Jews who followed Greek practices complained against the Jews who followed only Jewish practices. They said that the widows of men who followed Greek practices were not being taken care of. They weren’t getting their fair share of food each day. 2 So the Twelve gathered all the believers together. They said, “It wouldn’t be right for us to give up teaching God’s word in order to wait on tables. 3 Brothers, choose seven of your men. They must be known as men who are wise and full of the Holy Spirit. We will turn this important work over to them. 4 Then we can give our attention to prayer and to teaching the word.” 5 This plan pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen. He was full of faith and of the Holy Spirit. Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon and Parmenas were chosen too. The group also chose Nicolas from Antioch. He had accepted the Jewish faith. 6 The group brought them to the apostles. Then the apostles prayed and placed their hands on them. 7 So God’s word spread. The number of believers in Jerusalem grew quickly. Also, a large number of priests began to obey Jesus’ teachings.
When the number of believers was increasing, the problems/complaints were increasing as well. On one side, we can say it’s quite normal, but from the “spirit side”, it could be an attack from the enemy who trying to pull people away from God.
The problem arose of widows (from Greek Jewish background) being overlooked in the daily distribution of food.
This may not be a big issue in a church compared with adultery, lying and making false accusations, but it will affect the church from growing if it is not handled with care from in the beginning.
Proverbs says: Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.
Thank God, the Apostles knew their priority was the ministry of the word of God, and so made a wise decision by choosing seven men from the believers who are known to be wise and full of the Holy Spirit.
The challenge to me is do I always put the priority of God’s word above everything else?
Written by Allen Leu