A Christ Filled Life – Getting To Know Jesus
<p>”The Choosing of the Seven”, Acts 6:1) 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. Acts 9:29; Acts 4;35. 2) 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. 2Timothy 2:4. 3) 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. 4) But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the Word. Acts 2;42. 5) 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: Acts 9:31. 6) Whom they set before the Apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them. 1Timothy 4:14; 2Timothy 1:5; Hebrews 6:2. 7) And the Word of God increased; and the number of the Disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith. Colossians 1:6; John 12:42. 8) And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people. 9) Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines; and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen. 10) And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spake. Isaiah 54:17. 11) Then they suborned men, which said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God. 12) And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and caught him, and brought him to the council, 13) And they set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this Holy place, and the law: 14) For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs (rites) which Moses delivered us. Daniel 9:26. 15) And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel. Revelations 10:1.
Nelson’s Compact Bible Commentary – v1, The Grecians (Hellenists) were those of Jewish descent who grew up outside the land of Israel. They spoke Greek and used the Greek Translation of the Hebrew Old Testament, the Septuagint (2:5). The Hebrews were Palestinian Jews who spoke Aramaic and used the Hebrew Old Testament. There may have been animosity between the groups, even among the new believers, which gave rise to distrust and tension over the care of the widows who were neglected. In Jewish law, a woman did not receive an inheritance. She was dependent on her husband or another relative. v2, should leave the Word of God: the issue here was not blame, but rather what could be done to remedy the problem. The Apostles were careful to recognize that they could not leave what God had called them to do–declaring and teaching the Word of God and establishing the Church in prayer. serve tables: The work of administration and distributing care to those in need would have been carried out over tables and thus was a ministry of service rather than a ministry of speaking. v3, seek out: The leaders of the Church included the congregation in the search process. The local council in Jewish communities usually consisted of seven men, known as the “seven of the town”. The men who would be chosen would be known among the people for their good reputation, because they were full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom. They knew the will of God and understood how to carry it out. v4, prayer and… word: Note the order here, prayer was primary for the Apostles (2:42). v5, they chose Stephen…..Nicolas: all these names are Greek. The selection of the Helenists no doubt was a wise and gracious gesture to the people who had raised the complaint about the widows (v1). v6, The laying on of hands was not for these men to receive the Holy Spirit, because the seven men were already “full of the Holy Spirit” (vv3, 5). Instead the Apostles were conferring on these men the responsibility of carrying the ministry. v7, The Word of God spread: Many people became Disciples in submission to Christ’s Lordship. Through people sharing with those who had yet to hear the Good News, the Church experienced dramatic growth. a great many of the priests: most priests were not of the high priestly families. They had ordinary vocations that permitted them to serve their turn in the Temple periodically. These were humble, devoted men of God who recognized Jesus as the Christ. v8, Stephen was full of wisdom (v3), full of the Holy Spirit (v5), and full of faith and power. He had the gifts, the boldness and the brilliance to be a powerful witness for Christ. v9, the Synagogue of the Freedmen (or men): A synagogue was a local place of worship, a community center for worship and studying the Scriptures. The one referred to in this verse was for Hellenistic Jews from outside Jerusalem. v12-15, The antagonists stirred up the Jewish people by convincing them that the essence of the Jewish faith–the Temple, the law, Moses and even God–was under attack by Stephen.
Quest Study Bible – v15, What does an angel’s face look like? Angels are messengers from God. The Bible frequently describes those who come from God’s presence as having shining faces. Stephen brought a message from God when he told the council about Jesus. Luke wrote: the one accused of changing the customs of Moses had a face that shined like Moses’ (Exodus 34:29). More to come and God Bless You.