What does Acts 6:2 mean?
ESV: And 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.
NIV: So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, 'It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables.
NASB: So the twelve summoned the congregation of the disciples and said, 'It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables.
CSB: The 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.
NLT: So the Twelve called a meeting of all the believers. They said, 'We apostles should spend our time teaching the word of God, not running a food program.
KJV: Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.
NKJV: Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables.
Verse Commentary:
Greek-speaking Jesus-followers in Jerusalem are upset. They feel the church is not providing equal distribution of charity for some Greek-speaking widows, compared to Aramaic-speaking widows. It is understandable that the apostles would not notice; at this point, the church numbers in the thousands and the apostles seek to evangelize tens of thousands. This is exactly what Jesus tasked them to do: to spread His story (Acts 1:8). So far, they've been faithful to the thousands in the church as well as the Jews who gather in the temple court (Acts 4:4, 33). Jesus did not task them with meeting the new disciples' physical requirements; that comes organically with the Holy Spirit's prompting.

This passage is the nascent version of 1 Corinthians 12. The apostles recognize that although every Jesus-follower has the same Holy Spirit dwelling within them, the Spirit empowers different people for different tasks. Jesus told the apostles to be His witnesses "in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth" (Acts 1:8). They can't do that if they are also personally responsible for the physical well-being of all the widows in the church. The apostles are not claiming that some service is beneath them (John 13:14–16), or that they are too important for such work. They rightly understand that they cannot accomplish their spiritual calling and meet those other needs, as well.

This establishes the first of two significant principles in the passage. First, pastors cannot do everything in the church. They have just as few hours in their days as anyone else; God never intended or commanded spiritual leaders to do everything without help. Second, as inferred in Acts 6:3, everyone in the church has a role to fill. Waiting on tables is not a dishonorable job. It is a necessary one. But it does not belong to the apostles, it belongs to other members of the church. As Paul will later say, "For the body does not consist of one member but of many" (1 Corinthians 12:14). If the apostles were to take on every task of the church, they would not be honoring the other Jesus-followers.

The church is where every believer serves and leads; it is not where Christians go to be spoon-fed by a holy few. There are times where "need" outweighs "calling." There's nothing inappropriate about a pastor picking up a shovel, a broom, or a stack of diapers. But there is something inappropriate about pastors being forced to set their primary calling aside to do such things while other church members are idle.
Verse Context:
Acts 6:1–7 sees the early church in Jerusalem solve a problem caused by their rapid growth. The church is comprised of Jews from traditionally Jewish lands as well as nations to the east and Roman territories around the Mediterranean. As more people follow Jesus, those who are able donate to the apostles to care for those in need. Greek-speaking widows are less familiar to the local believers, and so they are not getting the same amount of support as those who speak Aramaic. Instead of taking on one more responsibility, the apostles commission seven men to manage the donations. One of these men is Stephen.
Chapter Summary:
Acts 6 introduces us to a Jesus-follower named Stephen. The apostles affirmed the choice of Stephen, along with six others, to make sure every Christian in Jerusalem has what they need. But Stephen is also a skilled debater. As a Greek-speaking Jew from outside Judea, Jews from Cyrene, Alexandria, and modern-day Asia Minor would naturally gravitate toward him. These travelers cannot defeat Stephen's logic, but they reject his message. They falsely accuse Stephen and bring him before the Sanhedrin.
Chapter Context:
Acts 6 introduces us to a Jesus-follower named Stephen. The apostles affirmed the choice of Stephen, along with six others, to make sure every Christian in Jerusalem has what they need. But Stephen is also a skilled debater. As a Greek-speaking Jew from outside Judea, Jews from Cyrene, Alexandria, and modern-day Asia Minor would naturally gravitate toward him. These travelers cannot defeat Stephen's logic, but they reject his message. They falsely accuse Stephen and bring him before the Sanhedrin.
Book Summary:
The summary of the book of Acts is provided in Jesus' words in Acts 1:8: ''But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.'' In Acts 2:1–13, the Christ-followers receive the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:14—7:60 describes the rapid growth of the church in Jerusalem. Chapters 8—12 find Jewish persecution inadvertently spreading the gospel throughout Judea and Samaria. And in chapters 13—28, Paul and his companions spread the good news throughout the Roman Empire.
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