by Harley Howard

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The Book of Acts Chapter 6 (16 of 44)
Dr. Harley Howard

During our last study in the book of Acts we saw the
first persecution of the church. In chapter 5, verse
40, Peter and John were beaten for preaching and
teaching about Jesus Christ.

In chapter 6 we see the first problem of the church.

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 ministration.

The church was described as disciples--followers of
Jesus Christ. This passage once again clearly teaches
the distinctiveness of the church body. Their numbers
continued to grow.

The church was continually growing and with growth
comes some problems.

One of the problems was since the church grew the
needs of the body continued to grow as well.
According to verse 1, the church was involved in the
feeding of the widows who were a part of the church.
Notice that it was the daily ministration. Day after
day the widows came to the church for food and it was
a common practice for the church to give them food.
But other problems rose which were more serious than
that. It is clear that the ministration of food or
the food distribution was not an issue. It went on
just fine. But what were the more serious problems?

(a) Cultural and racial prejudices produced problems.
The Grecian widows were called Hellenist, which means
that they spoke Greek and were not native Jews, but
proselytes who became Jews by converting to the Jewish

(b) Lack of caring and sharing produced a problem.
Verse 1 says that the widows were being neglected.
The word, neglected means, a side-by-side examination.
In other words a pure Hebrew widow would stand side-
by-side to the Hellenist widow and the ones
distributing the food completely ignored and
overlooked the needs of the Hellenist widows. This
was wrong. ...

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