Day 34: Faithful Jewish Believers

Acts 6:5-7 :

These words pleased the whole multitude. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch; whom they set before the apostles. When they had prayed, they laid their hands on them. The word of God increased and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem exceedingly. A great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.

This is a very interesting procedure to me. I have heard it said that democracy was not a church construct, but here, it looks a lot like democracy. The apostles spelled out what they needed but left it to the rest of the people to pick out their own leaders. After they were “elected,” the apostles blessed them. Notice how much trust there has to be in God in order for the leadership to allow the people to choose their leaders. The apostles had this because they blessed the ones that they choose. I believe that this kind of trust depends on having “voters” that are righteous. In this case, the righteousness of the voters came from Jesus and not from themselves.

Evidently, the decision to make a division of spiritual labor was a good one. It ended up increasing “the word of God” and the “number of disciples” in Jerusalem. Notice that Luke uses the word “disciples” instead of “converts.” The real goal that Jesus set before us was not to just make converts but to make disciples.

It is so great to see that “a great company of priests were obedient to the faith.” Since so many Gentiles came to Christ later, it is easy to forget that first there was a big revival in Jerusalem that created true, faithful believers among the Jews. Even Jewish priests were convinced that Jesus was the Christ.