Act 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
COMMENT: In any ever increasing
movement, there will be
growth pains. In this particular managment problem, the Greeks
murmured against the Hebrews. Apparently a number of Greeks
had come to the Lord and were serving him in Jerusalem.
Act 6:2 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.
COMMENT: The multitude of Hebrew and
Greek disciples meaning those whose lives were now set apart unto
God to where they were no longer involved in secular employment,
and they were all under the authority of the Apostles as they
grew up into Christlikeness.
Act 6:3 Wherefore, brethren, look out among you seven men
of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we
may appoint over this business.
COMMENT: The Apostles delegated the selection
of whom should be appointed by them to the disciples. This is
good managment. They would get a chance to inter-face on the
selections and because of their involvement in the decision making
process, they would be more inclined to work with the final
decision of the Apostles.
Act 6:4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer,
and to the ministry of the word.
COMMENT: The Apostles reveal here the laws of
the Spirit they abided by, of unceasing prayers and the ministry of
the Word, so they maintained an audible continuity in spiritual
Act 6:5 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:
COMMENT: Stephen is specifically mentioned
here because he soon becomes a martyr, dying a perfect death in
forgiving his murderers like Christ did on the cross.
Act 6:6 Whom they set before the apostles: and when
they had prayed, they laid [their] hands on them.
COMMENT: The Apostles observed good managment
etiquette here in accepting the seven choices of the multitude and
after they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.
Act 6:7 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.
COMMENT: The residents of Jerusalem were
more and more exposed to the Word of God in the city as the Word
increased in the lives of the growing movement so more and more
disciples, committed to living set apart lives unto God; joined
and a great company of the preists were obedient to the faith
which must have threatened the rulers of the people all the more.
Act 6:8 ¶ And Stephen, full of faith and power, did
great wonders and miracles among the people.
COMMENT: This is the picture of an anointed
man of God who died daily to himself to become full of the Spirit
of the Lord, and great wonders and miracles were worked among
Act 6:9 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.
COMMENT: The Jews of the synagogue of the
Libertines had been held captive in Rome and were set free,
thus the name in Latin was Libertini or freedmen. But they were
not set free from the darkness of their own selves, and therefore
disputed with Stephen, and other factions were with them in
Act 6:10 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and
the Spirit by which he spake.
COMMENT: The Word of God in an anointed man
such as Stephen is not only "quick" it is "powerful" and
"sharper than any two edged sword," so they could
not resist the wisdom of the Spirit by which he spoke.
Act 6:11 Then they suborned men, which said, We have heard
him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and [against] God.
COMMENT: Stephen did not speak against
Moses in any way nor against God.
Act 6:12 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,
COMMENT: By such accusations it was possible
to stir up the people for the Jews would not endure anyone speaking
blasphemous words against Moses or God.
Act 6:13 And set up false witnesses, which said, This man
ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy
place, and the law:
COMMENT: They not only set up false witnesses,
but added the accusation that Stephen spoke blasphemous words against
the holy temple.
Act 6:14 For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of
Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs
which Moses delivered us.
COMMENT: There may have been an element of
truth in this part of their testimony because Jesus did teach
prophetically that one stone would not be left of the temple
upon another and once the temple was destroyed in A.D. 72 we
know the daily sacrifice ceased, the Jews were dispersed into all
the world and they have not had a daily sacrifice since. But
the laws of Moses are as eternal as God, and the law will go
forth from Zion upon the return of Christ to set up his thousand
year reign. It certainly is easy to envision the sinful misunderstanding
Stephen if their hearts were already set against him.
Act 6:15 And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly
on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.
COMMENT: Any man full of faith and the Holy
Ghost is capable of appearing as though he were an angel,
...we see this time and again in the sacred Scriptures.