Seven Chosen to Serve

Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution. 2 Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. 3 Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit 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.”

5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch, 6 whom they set before the apostles; and when they had prayed, they laid hands on them.

7 Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith. — Acts 6:1-7.

In the early days of the church (Ekklesia) when the disciples were growing in number, the Greek-speaking Jews complained against the native Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food.

So the twelve apostles call the disciples together and say it is not right on their part to neglect the word of Good to wait on tables. The apostles tell them to seek out seven men with good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom they may put in charge of this necessary task, while they would devote themselves to prayer and to the ministry of the gospel.

The proposal please the entire group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, with Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a Gentile convert to Judaism from Antioch. They set these seven men before the apostles, who pray and place their hands on them, dedicating them to the selected task.

The word of God continues to spread, the number of disciples in Jerusalem increase greatly, and a large number of priests obey the gospel.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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