Acts 6:1-15 (ESV)
Please use one of the prompts below to get your journaling started.
- Explore your fears and what’s behind them.
- Write about a relational conflict you are experiencing.
- List out all that you are grateful for.
- Recall a significant reaction, conversation or event.
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CHAPTER 6 COMMENTARY
v.1: “Conflict between these two groups was likely fueled by raw emotions. The Grecian Jews spoke a different language and had a different cultural background than the Hebraic Jews.” 
“Widows naturally formed a considerable proportion of the poorer members of the church, and the Hellenistic widows were said to be at a disadvantage in comparison with the Hebrew widows, perhaps because the distribution of charity was in the hands of the “Hebrews’.” 
v.3-4: “The procedure adopted in choosing the Seven is instructive (We see here the beginnings of church leaders laying hands on believers and commissioning them for specific tasks. The church has developed various orders of worship for such functions and given them names such as commissioning, ordination, and induction services). 
v.8: “The narrative of Stephen constitutes a major turning point in Acts…To this point a growing opposition toward the Christians from the Jewish leaders had been thwarted by the favor of the people toward the young movement. Then the picture changed. The people joined in the resistance to Stephen. With the death of Stephen and the dispersal of his fellow Hellenists, the focus would no longer be on Jerusalem but on Samaria and all of Palestine and, finally, with Paul on the further reaches of the Roman Empire. Stephen is thus a key figure in the narrative of the wider Christian mission, and the lengthy treatment of his martyrdom is no coincidence.” 
Acts 6:1-15 (ESV)
1 Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. 2 And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. 3 Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty.4 But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” 5 And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. 6 These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands on them.
7 And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.
8 And Stephen, full of grace and power, was doing great wonders and signs among the people. 9 Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), and of the Cyrenians, and of the Alexandrians, and of those from Cilicia and Asia, rose up and disputed with Stephen. 10 But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking. 11 Then they secretly instigated men who said, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.” 12 And they stirred up the people and the elders and the scribes, and they came upon him and seized him and brought him before the council, 13 and they set up false witnesses who said, “This man never ceases to speak words against this holy place and the law, 14 for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and will change the customs that Moses delivered to us.” 15 And gazing at him, all who sat in the council saw that his face was like the face of an angel.
• What problem arose in the church, and what lessons can we draw from these realities of church life?
• Note the parallels in v. 1 and v. 7, as well as what comes in between. Reflect on the things that can derail a church, and what this passage has to say about them.
• What can we learn from how the apostles handle the problem? Play out what might have happened had they not appointed the seven men to take care of the administration of “tables”.
• How does this passage challenge my thinking regarding human realities and the achieving of an ideal?
• What was Stephen like and what was he doing?
• What happened to Stephen?
• How does this challenge my notion of discipleship and following Jesus?
 The Quest Study Bible, Study Question for Acts 6:1.
 Bruce, The Book of the Acts, 120.
 Fernando, Acts, The NIV Application Commentary Series, 246.
 Pohill, The New American Commentary: Acts. vol.26, 183-184.