Seven Chosen to Serve
1In those days, as the disciples#Mt 9:10; Mk 10:10; Lk 6:1; Jn 6:3; Ac 9:1,10,19,25-26; 21:4,16 were increasing in number, there arose a complaint by the Hellenistic Jews against the Hebraic Jews that their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution.#Ac 2:41; 4:4,35; 5:14; 9:29,39; 11:20 2The Twelve summoned the whole company of the disciples and said, “It would not be right for us to give up preaching the word of God to wait on tables. 3Brothers and sisters, select from among you seven men of good reputation,#Dt 1:13; 1Tm 3:7 full of the Spirit#Lk 4:1; Ac 7:55; 11:19,24 and wisdom, whom we can appoint to this duty. 4But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” 5This proposal pleased the whole company. So they chose Stephen,#Ac 6:8-9; 11:19; 22:20 a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a convert from Antioch.#Mt 23:15; Ac 8:5,26; 21:8 6They had them stand before the apostles, who prayed#Ac 1:24; 8:17; 13:3; 2Tm 1:6 and laid their hands on#Nm 8:10; Ac 9:17; 1Tm 4:14 them.
7So the word of God spread, the disciples in Jerusalem increased#Ac 12:24; 19:20; Col 1:6 greatly in number, and a large group of priests became obedient to the faith.
Stephen Accused of Blasphemy
8Now Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people. 9Opposition arose, however, from some members of the Freedmen’s Synagogue, composed of both Cyrenians and Alexandrians, and some from Cilicia and Asia, and they began to argue with Stephen. 10But they were unable to stand up against his wisdom and the Spirit by whom he was speaking.
11Then they secretly persuaded some men to say, “We heard him speaking blasphemous words against Moses and God.”#1Kg 21:10,13; Mt 26:59-60 12They stirred up the people, the elders, and the scribes; so they came, seized him, and took him to the Sanhedrin. 13They also presented false witnesses who said, “This man never stops speaking against this holy place and the law.#Mt 24:15; Ac 7:58; 21:28; 25:8 14For we heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs that Moses handed down to us.”#Dn 9:26; Ac 15:1; 21:21; 26:3; 28:17 15And all who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at him and saw that his face was like the face of an angel.