Sunday, June 10: Witness
I’ll answer it for you: None. We’re not told the names of any of the early converts to the faith. In fact, only five Christians outside of the apostles are mentioned by name in the first 5 chapters of Acts: Mary the mother of Jesus (mentioned once), Joseph called Barsabbas (once), Barnabas (once), and Ananias and Sapphira.
Peter and John, on the other hand, are mentioned by name 26 times! What does this tell us? The early church had a leadership problem. The apostles thought that they could do everything. They thought that they were the only ones capable of keeping the church going, and in Acts 6:1-7 the wheels fall off. The apostles fail miserably at taking care of widows in the church, and the congregation calls them out on it.
Fortunately, the apostles don’t get defensive, but rather recognize that the Holy Spirit has indwelled the entire body for ministry and so they don’t have to do everything. They find seven men wise and full of the Holy Spirit, and empower them to use their gifts for the kingdom of God. And it is this action, trusting the body instead of trying to do the work themselves, that finally gets the church out of Jerusalem.
Join us this week as we find out how God has gifted our body to fulfill His mission! See you then.