GOSPEL MEDITATION # 20
Seven Chosen to Serve
- Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions.
- Be comfortably alert, still and at peace.
- Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer
- Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
- Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
- Reread it. From memory, determine the central points.
- “The disciples”—the first time Luke uses this term—more than 5000, and they are students, disciplined students.
- The origin of our four gospels is here, first the oral accounts then written accounts, of the life and ministry of Jesus.
- And there is, of course, trouble in this early church to the point there are murmurings or complaints making their rounds and to the point it surfaces.
- The Twelve themselves are responsible for the problem. The Greek cultured widows are being neglected in the daily distribution of food. We do not know the details.
- Somehow the apostolic band was engaged in actual food distribution and needed to be relieved of this job.
- Seven men are to be selected from among the congregation to correct the oversight. Was their bias involved?
- Seven men with good reputations, filled with the Holy Spirit, and wise, are brought forward. They each have Greek names and are likely all “Hellenists” or Jews coming from the Graeco/Roman culture. One of the seven is Nicolaus who is not even Jewish, but a Gentile proselyte to Judaism—this is quite revolutionary.
- Luke uses this opportunity to introduce Stephen and Philip both of whom will figure large in the fledgling Church.
- The Twelve lay hands on them, a time honored Jewish practice (see Ex. 18:17-26 & Nu. 27:16-18). This is what will come to referred to as ordination—a setting aside and not an anointing of the Holy Spirit.
- The result is continued growth in the numbers of disciples.