Acts Chapter 6 culture clash, turning problems to blessings.
Updated: Feb 27, 2020
So we are starting the book of acts Chapter 6 (please read it) and we come up with a problem that is secondary to the churches success to this point. We could call this growing pains. The early church is precious and has been growing with leaps and bounds. It has run into conflict with the Jewish authorities. As of yet it hasn't run into conflict with the Roman authorities as they haven't really noticed it being any different then usual Jewish behavior. The church is focused in Jerusalem nearby the temple and large numbers of Christians are gathering within the temple compound for the teaching of the apostles. Things have gotten quite crowded and the people were in awe of the apostles, waiting in the streets for their shadow to go by. This is how people react when something special is happening. Faith was being activated and people were getting healed.
At this time people were selling their property and living communally and there was a great sense of Joy and oneness. The Holy Spirit has brought together many new believers into one new body which is precious to God. He considers it his bride. At this point the church consisted only of Jewish believers and most of them were in Jerusalem. People were selling property and giving the proceeds to the apostles who were distributing to the new believers as there was need. Most likely this was given to heads of households, the problem was that the Jews didn't all speak the same language. Many of them who have been scattered around the country and in different countries spoke Greek. They knew little Hebrew or Aramaic which is a derivative of Hebrew and is what the Jews in Jerusalem and Judea primarily spoke. They probably knew a rudimentary amount of Greek. Everybody probably new little bit of Greek but when the apostles are trying to distribute to thousands of people there are probably those that are not being noticed. There is always conflict when there are cultural and language barriers. The apostles were feeling a bit overwhelmed by this as it wasn't really they're calling or gift. They're gifting had to do with preaching the word of God, prayer and encouragement. Thank the Lord that the wisdom of asking the Greek speaking believers to present to the apostles candidates for administration and service to the practical needs of the body. It's interesting that the qualification was being filled the Holy Spirit and having wisdom for such a simple job of distributing food? It turns out that 7 were selected. That was the usual number of people that choose would choose for a community or counsel. What we find as we look at the rest of the story is that being faithful in serving tables led to so much more. Two of the seven (Phillip and Steven) Went on to become powerful witnesses working miracles and giving witness to the authorities at the cost of their life. They actually ushered in a radical new phase of church growth. It is called persecution! Stay tuned.