- Acts 6:1-5
- Acts 6:1 (KJB)
- 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.
- Ministration - Distribution
- Now that the church was beginning to start teaching and evangelizing,
the number of disciples had grown and whenever something starts out, there
may be some types of confusion and misunderstandings which may grow into
anger on the part of a few. Since the Gentiles were now being made a part of
the church along with the Hebrews, there was already factions starting to
occur. The Greeks had accused the Hebrews that their widows were not being
taken care of. They had accused them of neglect. This had begun to raise
tensions and maybe because the Greek widows were unable to speak Hebrew were
unable to speak up and this made it seem like intentional neglect. Now what
was being distributed may have been money or goods since previously the new
Christians had brought their donations of goods and money to the Apostles
and they were giving them out as needed.
- Acts 6:2 (KJB)
- 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
- Reason - Pleasing, desirable, or acceptable
- Since there were many disciples involved in the distribution, the twelve
Apostles had summoned this crowd and relayed to them that their primary
ministry was to teach and preach the word of God and would have been
unacceptable for them to leave this task and take over the distribution
tables. This is an excellent example of teaching that each Christian has a
spiritual gift plus they have talents which can be used for the Kingdom of
God. Here the Apostles knew that they were called to teach and evangelize
and for them to take over the tables would be to literally neglect their
calling as preachers of the Gospel. This is a lesson which must be learned
by every Christian. If God puts us into a specific ministry, we must never
divert from that ministry unless and until the Lord directs us too.
- Acts 6:3 (KJB)
- 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.
- The Apostles then responded with a plan. Always be part of the solution
and not the problem. They gave a charge to the other Christians that from
among themselves, they were to look for seven men, who were truly saved and
walking in the Spirit that could be trusted to oversee the business of
distribution of the goods. If you notice, the Apostles did not lessen their
requirements for this task. They wanted true Christians with much Holy Ghost
wisdom because they did not see this task as any less important. There is no
such thing as an unimportant task in the Kingdom of God and that is why it
is necessary that all phases of God’s work be handled by those who are truly
born again. This verse also teaches that church leaders should not be the
only ones to handle church business, it should include all qualified
Christians in the congregation.
- Acts 6:4 (KJB)
- But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of
- The Apostles were not putting down the ministry of distribution as less
important as the ministry of teaching and evangelism. They knew what their
ministries were and they were not going to divert from it plus there were
hundreds of Christians and it was now time to begin to start getting others
involved in ministry. If one is called to proclaim the word, they should not
be diverted into other ministries because as I have seen in the modern
church, “lending a hand” automatically converts to taking over the project
- Acts 6:5 (KJB)
- 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:
- The choice was made for the seven who would oversee the ministry of
distribution in the church.
- Stephen - The name means “wreath or crown.” It was given at the
Olympic games and was called a Stephanos crown which was like a garland.
Stephen also became a powerful preacher as he gave the history of how God
worked in Israel to bring about the Lord Jesus Christ through history. (Acts
- Philip - The name means “warrior or lover of horses.” Philip also
became a great preacher and helped the Ethiopian Eunuch understand Isaiah
53. (Acts 8)
- Prochorus - The name means “leading in a chorus, dance, or leader of
singers.” Nothing else is known of him.
- Nicanor - The name means “conqueror, victorious, or I conquer.”
Nothing else is known of him.
- Timon - The name means “honorable, or deemed worthy.” Nothing else
is known of him.
- Parmenas - The name means “faithful or I abide.” Nothing else is
known of him.
- Nicolas - The name means “conqueror of the people.” Some believe
that it was he who started a sect called the Nicolaitanes.
(Rev 2:6 KJV) But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the
Nicolaitanes, which I also hate. Since Revelation
was penned in 95 A.D. this would put 62 years between his being appointed a
deacon and the condemning of this cult by God in Revelation. There is no
direct evidence linking Nicolas to this sect and it is done by means of the
names meaning the same thing. So I would say tread lightly where the Bible
- Even though nothing is know further about five of
these men, one thing is for certain, at the time of their appointment, they
were solid Christians worthy to be placed in special ministry. Never worry
about whether the ministry you have will make you famous or not, never focus
on public accolades. Focus on being faithful to whatever God assigns to you
as your ministry.