Reading Acts 6 for another post, I noticed something that is not new, but it stood out to me and I wanted to write it down.
Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. 2And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. 3Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. 4But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”5And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. …
8And Stephen, full of grace and power, was doing great wonders and signs among the people. 9Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), and of the Cyrenians, and of the Alexandrians, and of those from Cilicia and Asia, rose up and disputed with Stephen. 10But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking.
Stephen was chosen by the other believers in Jerusalem to serve tables – that is, to see that the needy among the church were cared for. Yet he was able to defend the gospel against its enemies so powerfully that they took him to the authorities and executed him. And in verse 2, the language in Greek suggest the twelve had been serving tables, but it was too much for them to continue that and keep on serving the Word.
Stephen was not too low to proclaim the gospel, and the apostles were not too lofty to bring dinner to widows. There was division of tasks so that every need was met, physical and spiritual; but there was no division of the Spirit’s power.