But as the believers rapidly multiplied, there were rumblings of discontent. The Greek-speaking believers complained about the Hebrew-speaking believers, saying that their widows were being discriminated against in the daily distribution of food.
- We knew all that community "bliss" couldn't last forever. Human nature is still human nature. I make myself remember this whenever I'm tempted to talk about how our churches today should just get back to "the good old days" of the early church. Uh huh...
Acts 6:7 (NLT)
...and many of the Jewish priests were converted, too.
Isn't that an interesting tidbit... Allegience to Jesus is penetrating right into the heart of Jewish religious practice.
Acts 6:9 (NLT)
But one day some men from the Synagogue of Freed Slaves, as it was called, started to debate with him.
- Inevitably, "pushback" arises in the surrounding religious communities...
Acts 6:14 (NLT)
We have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy the Temple and change the customs Moses handed down to us."
- It seems that Stephen might have been expounding Jesus' prophecy where he said of the temple that he would tear it down and rebuild it in three days. The implications of what Jesus' sacrifice and resurrection meant were starting to sink in and this message was not welcomed by everyone.
This hasn't changed over the course of two thousand years. The grace and freedom offered through Jesus' salvation, completely undermines religion.
Jesus has destroyed the institutions and practices that try to keep us enslaved to worthless piety and traditions, attempting to make ourselves acceptable to God and one another. And the practitioners of religion have continually tried to divert and pervert that pure Gospel.