It was a scandal in the making.
As you are about to hear in this PODCAST, a vast cultural divide threatened to rip asunder the fragile fabric of unity these first believers in Jesus earlier enjoyed.
As we learned last week (Podcast #27), the story begins,
“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.”
That was, as you will remember, a dire situation for these precious widows. Dire in the extreme. Women who had lost their husbands, and who were now among the most vulnerable in that male-dominated society. Females forced to live in a world that diminished women to a subservient status. One that rendered them uneducated, unskilled, unemployable, utterly without resources. Totally dependent.
Now that they had become followers of Jesus, they could not return to their synagogues for support. Not to worry. We read earlier in Acts 2 that
“(These first believers) would sell their property and possessions and give the money to whoever needed it… and shared their food happily and freely.”
Not any more.
Last week, we went into much detail about the collision of cultures faced by these early believers. A vast cultural divide between the Greek-speaking (Hellenistic) believers who were in the minority, and Hebrew-speaking believers who were in the majority. A cultural divide of church-splitting potential.
So wide a divide that the majority discriminated against the minority to the risk of the lives of Greek-speaking widows.
This was serious. So serious that the Apostles (all Twelve of the Apostles) were forced to drop everything in order to address problem.
Their solution was nothing short of brilliant! For them. And for us!
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God bless you richly as you listen.