The Apostles are pulled into administrative matters but wisely realize that, while they can do every task, it doesn’t mean that they should. Importantly, they do not try to see who they can sucker or guilt into these other jobs, but instead look for people who are “filled by the spirit and wisdom”. These deacons were chosen by the gathered believers, blessed and hands were laid on them in ordination of their role. We find that they not only served, but also spoke boldly and wisely, as anyone filled with the spirit will do. But soon, one, Stephen, catches the attention of non-believers and he is brought to the ever more frustrated and escalating Sanhedrin where the truth is spoken in a condeming and condescending way. With the final line: “All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.” we have the foreboding sense that something bad is coming.
11. a. There was an administrative issue over the widows of Hebraic Jews being fed before the widows of Grecian Jews.
b. 6:2 – not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God and 6:4 – give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word
c. Had the assembled believers select 7 deacons who were filled with the spirit and wisdom. These men were blessed and hands were laid on them for their ministry
d. Different people are called into different ministries in the church, but that does not mean some are below or subordinate to others, they are just different. AND, the different ministries have the same prereqs – filled with the spirit and wisdom. Also, regardless of “church job” we are all called to spread the gospel message.
12. Filled with the spirit and wisdom. (Acts 6:3) Chosen by the group of believers (Acts 6:5) Ordained by the church (Acts 6:6)
I was looking for the next questions in this chapter. The fact that we are all called to be bold in teaching about Jesus who is the Christ, whether we are called to a job of prayer and ministry or one of waiting tables. That with the spirit the count diminishes in importance (Stephen wasn’t one of the 12, but was clearly apostolic, a Greek word meaning: a delegate, messenger, one sent forth with orders.) The line of Luke at the end of this chapter about how “All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.” To some of us, in the face of an angel we see God’s goodness and love, something to be cherished. But to unbelievers note that they do not see something else – they only see it with different eyes. He still looks like an angel, but that vision does not invoke love and mercy as we will soon see (sorry, but with this kind of a cliff hanger – you can’t help but turn the page). That last part gives me the chills every time I read it!