Acts chapter 6 is relatively short so we will tackle the entire chapter
v1: These were two groups of Jewish people – those who had immigrated to Israel (the Greek Jews -Hellenists) and those who had been born in Israel.
· In Judaism the leadership of Israel (primarily the priests) took care of the widows daily. This was not something unique to the believing community.
v2: The Apostles took leadership to see this important, contentious (potentially divisive) issue resolved.
· Spiritual Food needs to be prioritized (Matt 4:4) but Physical food is important too.
· If the Apostles had abandoned the Word of G-d to wait on tables we probably wouldn’t have nearly as much of the New Testament as we have today (this is an important chapter to see how a body can function for maximum benefit to all parts- we all have our specific and important roles to play within it)
NOTE: The Word is foundational for the church (“social justice” should NEVER be the churches main focus)
v3: These men were believers and had a good reputation/testimony. They were full of the Holy Spirit as an outcome of their faith in Yeshua – the Redeemer (Isaiah 59:20-21)
· The men were chosen by the people but appointed by the Apostles.
v4: Ministry of the Word needs to be accompanied by prayer.
v5: Nicolas was not born Jewish but was a proselyte (someone who had converted).
· The early believers placed a high significance upon the sharing of the Word.
v6:The Apostles commissioned these 7 men to serve.
v7: Because of this distribution of power and responsibility ministry was effective all around.
· There was fruitfulness
· The priests were those who served in the temple – they were the ones who had been responsible to teach the Word to people and now they were being taught of the fulfillment of the Word and it impacted them.
They were the ones who performed and were experts in the temple sacrifices. When presented with Yeshua as the perfect Lamb of G-d they received Him as the proper sacrifice for redemption.
v8: In Acts 6:5 we were told that Stephen was full of faith and the Holy Spirit. Here we see he was also full of grace and power. These all resulted in a release of the Holy Spirit’s power in his life.
v9:These men were primarily immigrants – they had previously lived outside of Israel.
v10: The book of Acts highlights the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Without His leading, teaching, empowering etc we would never be able to carry out the ministry of Yeshua.
v11: These men were liars and distorted the facts.
· Moses was only revered by the Jewish community posthumously.
v12: They sowed deceit and division among the people of G-d.
v13: False witnesses should not have been allowed to testify within the Sanhedrin – but this governing body had become corrupt.
v14: These are false statements.
v15: Apostles are those who are sent from. Angels are different in that they are sent to. An angel is usually someone on assignment or someone who has a message to speak.
· Stephen’s assignment was to testify before the Sanhedrin (like Yeshua – Matt 26:59-61- and Peter -Acts 4)