Daily Word

Overlooked for food | Acts 6:1-6

6 Now about this time, when the number of disciples was increasing, a complaint was made by the [ a ] Hellenists (Greek-speaking Jews) against the [[ b ] native] Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily serving of food. 2 So the [ c ] Twelve called the disciples together and said, “It is not appropriate for us to neglect [teaching] the word of God in order to serve tables and manage the distribution of food. 

3 Therefore, brothers, choose from among you seven men with good reputations [men of godly character and moral integrity], full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task. 4 But we will [continue to] devote ourselves [steadfastly] to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” 

5 The suggestion pleased the whole congregation; and they selected [ d ] Stephen, a man full of faith [in Christ Jesus], and [filled with and led by] the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas (Nikolaos), a proselyte (Gentile convert) from Antioch. 6 They brought these men before the apostles; and after praying, they laid their hands on them [to dedicate and commission them for this service].

Acts 6:1-6 (AMP) 中文

Trial concludes

The trial is over and the 12 are released. They’re now out teaching and preaching (and performing signs and wonders by the Spirit). The numbers of the church keep growing daily. The Gospel is spreading. 

Koinonia in action

We know from previous passages that they were practicing Koinonia (Acts 4:32-37) – sharing their resources together as anyone had need. And these widows had need. They had no husband around to provide for them (or the family). This koinonia was a wonderful testimony of the Kingdom of God. Otherwise, these widows had no source of income and probably had suffered as a result.

Overlooked for food

Given the tenor of the group, I have to assume this overlooking of the Greek speaking widows was unintentional. But maybe there was some prejudice going on. “To oversimplify, Hebrews tended to regard Hellenists as unspiritual compromisers with Greek culture, and Hellenists regarded Hebrews as holier-than-thou traditionalists. There was already a natural suspicion between the two groups, and Satan tried to take advantage of that standing suspicion.” (enduringword.com)

Gift of wisdom

God gave the 12 wisdom for how to respond to the situation. It may seem they were proud and aloof – not wanting to get involved in serving. But I don’t think so. They had lived with Jesus, their role model who said, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45) No, they knew their call was to pray and teach. I’m sure they still served but they could rely on the 7 to lead it. And the 7, as we’ll see shortly with Stephen, still ministered with preaching and signs.

RЯeflection

  • What is our testimony of love among the brothers? Do others, “know we are Christ’s disciples by our love for one another” (John 13:35)?
  • How can we display this kind of servitude modeled by Jesus? Is there someone near you right now that you can serve? Consider what their need is and try to provide it without their asking. Do it in His Name.
Soup kitchen. Image from civileats.com *

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