Seven Men Are Chosen
1More and more people were becoming followers of Jesus. But during this same time, the Greek-speaking followers had an argument with the other Jewish followers. The Greek-speaking Jews said that their widows were not getting their share of the food that was given out every day. 2The 12 apostles called the whole group of followers together. They said, “It is not right for us to stop our work of teaching God’s word in order to serve tables. 3So, brothers, choose seven of your own men. They must be men who are good. They must be full of wisdom and full of the Spirit. We will put them in charge of this work. 4Then we can use all our time to pray and to teach the word of God.”
5The whole group liked the idea. So they chose these seven men: Stephen (a man with great faith and full of the Holy Spirit), Philip,# Not the apostle named Philip. Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas (a man from Antioch who had become a Jew). 6Then they put these men before the apostles. The apostles prayed and laid their hands on# Here, doing this showed that these men were given a special work of God. the men.
7The word of God was reaching more and more people. The group of followers in Jerusalem became larger and larger. A great number of the Jewish priests believed and obeyed.
Stephen Is Arrested
8Stephen was richly blessed by God. God gave him the power to do great miracles and signs among the people. 9But some Jews were against him. They belonged to a synagogue of Free Men# Jews who had been slaves or whose fathers had been slaves, but were now free. (as it was called). (This synagogue was also for Jews from Cyrene and from Alexandria.) Jews from Cilicia and Asia were also with them. They all came and argued with Stephen.
10But the Spirit was helping him to speak with wisdom. His words were so strong that they could not argue with him. 11So they paid some men to say, “We heard him say things against Moses and against God!”
12This upset the people, the Jewish elders, and the teachers of the law. They came to Stephen, grabbed him and brought him to a meeting of the Jewish leaders. 13They brought in some men to tell lies about Stephen. They said, “This man is always saying things against this holy place and the law of Moses. 14We heard him say that Jesus from Nazareth will destroy this place. He also said that Jesus will change the things that Moses told us to do.” 15All the people in the meeting were watching Stephen closely. His face looked like the face of an angel.