Acts 6

The first sign of trouble in the fledgling church arises: Greek Christians complain their widows get less than Hebrew Christians in the daily rations being given.  The apostles ask the whole group to appoint seven men to look into this, so they can stay on task.  The seven all have Greek names, showing the group's concern not to discriminate against the Greeks.

It's interesting that priests are mentioned here coming to the faith, as they were dependent on the temple's generosity for their living, much like widows were.  Are they convinced by the effective and pure benevolence program of the church, in contrast with the temple's more corrupt system?

One of the seven, Stephen, does miracles and argues successfully with some Jews.  They falsely accuse him to the Sanhedrin, that he calls for the destruction of the temple and change to Moses' customs.

How this is about Jesus
He did not withhold mercy and provision from Gentiles, even as His earthly ministry before the cross was mainly to Israel.  The benefits of His atonement are not limited to Israel (1 John 2:2).

Stephen's accusers follow Jesus'.  Tell a half lie just believable and inflammatory enough to condemn him.  They did this to Paul later, in Ephesus to start a riot.  He hadn't spoken against goddess Artemis (Acts 19:37), but he did teach the God of Israel was the one true God.

We have the same thing happening today.  Christians are accused of hating gay people, when the truth is that we cannot say their behavior is acceptable to God.  Not the same thing.  Often, the way we are tempted is the same direction as the accusations from the world.  While Christians are called to love and invite all people to accept the truth, we are tempted to disgust and separation from those people (Jonah 3:10-4:4).  The world sees that disgust and accuses us.

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