As the church grew in numbers, problems arose. Some were external. The Jewish opponents tried to stop the movement by persecuting the church. Some other problems arose from within. The personal sin of Ananias and Sapphira was settled quickly but brought fear upon all the church. Here, a complaint arose because some felt their widows in need were being neglected. How the apostles dealt with this problem is exemplary. They chose seven men who appear to have been Hellenists (the group from whom the complaint had been lodged) to judiciously provide for the widows. One of these men was Stephen. Certain Jews rose up against him and accused him of blasphemy and brought him to the Council.
- Stephen, Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas
- Jews from the Synagogue of Freedmen
Were being cared for by the church
Were chosen to oversee caring for the widows
Accused Stephen of blasphemy in the Council
The church took immediate measures to correct any perceived inequities.
Men chosen to do God’s work should have exemplary character.
Christians are often slandered and made victims of corrupt people with impure motives.