‘Their widows were being discriminated against.’ Acts 6:1 NLT
The Bible says: ‘As the believers rapidly multiplied, there were rumblings of discontent. The Greek-speaking believers complained about the Hebrew-speaking believers, saying that their widows were being discriminated against in the daily distribution of food.’ Why? Because they were outsiders. These women didn’t grow up in Judea or Galilee. They hailed from the distant lands of Greece, Rome and Syria. If they spoke Aramaic at all, they did so with an accent. Consequently, they were ‘neglected’. (Acts 6:1 NKJV) The manager of the food pantry gave Hebrew women the first pick. The food bank director separated requests into two stacks: locals and immigrants. How did the church respond? ‘The Twelve [apostles] called a meeting of all the believers.’ (Acts 6:2 NLT) Have you ever been to a meeting of ‘believers’ called to deal with those who are ‘being discriminated against’? Why did the apostles call such a meeting? Because of the example Jesus set from the very outset of His ministry: ‘And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written…’ (Luke 4:17 KJV) That day He announced the six things that God had sent Him to do:
(1) Preach the Gospel to the poor.
(2) Heal the broken-hearted.
(3) Proclaim liberty to the captives.
(4) Proclaim recovery of sight to the blind.
(5) Set at liberty those who are oppressed.
(6) Proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. That was the year of Jubilee when all prisoners were set free, all debts forgiven, and all that was taken from you was restored. Jesus meets every need: body, soul, and spirit. And that’s the message you’ve been called to share with others.
SoulFood: 2 Tim 1–4, Lk 22:54–62, Ps 19, Prov 24:19–22
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023