The Christians picked 7 men to be church workers
At that time, a lot of people believed in Jesus and started to follow him. Some of them talked in the Greek language, and some of them talked in the Jewish language, called Hebrew. The Christians that talked Greek complained about the Christians that talked Hebrew. They said that the people that looked after the widows didn’t give enough food or money to the widows that talked Greek.
So Jesus’s 12 special workers called all the other Christians to a meeting. They said, “We 12 men have been giving out the money and food, but now that job is too big for us. We haven’t got the time to do that job and then teach people God’s word properly. We have to keep on teaching people God’s word, so somebody else has to give out the money and food. So, friends, you pick 7 of your own men to do that job. They can give the money and food to the widows. You have to pick men that other people say are good men. They have to be men that God’s Holy Spirit controls properly, and they have to be men that always think properly. We will let those men take over that work. They will give money and food to the widows, while we will keep on praying and teaching God’s word.”
All the Christians agreed with those 12 men. So they picked Stephen. He was a man that really trusted God, and that God’s Holy Spirit controlled properly. And they picked Philip, and Procorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas. Nicolas was from a city called Antioch. He was not born a Jew, but he turned to God and started to follow the Jewish ceremonies, and after that, he believed in Jesus. They brought those 7 men to Jesus’s 12 special workers, and those 12 men prayed for God to help those 7 men, and they put their hands on their heads to show that they were giving those 7 men that job.
At that time, the Christians kept on telling God’s word to more people, and a lot more people in Jerusalem believed in Jesus. Even a big mob of the men that looked after the Jewish ceremonies believed in Jesus.
The Jewish leaders grabbed Stephen
God helped Stephen to be good to everybody, and he gave Stephen the power to do great things, to show people that God was great. But some Jewish men started arguing with him. Those Jewish men were from Cyrene, Alexandria, Cilicia and Asia. They used to meet together at a Jewish meeting house called the meeting house of the free men. 10 But God’s Holy Spirit helped Stephen to think properly and gave him the right words to say. His words were so strong that those men couldn’t win any argument. 11 So they talked to some other men in secret and paid them money to tell lies about Stephen. Then those other men said, “We heard Stephen say really bad things about Moses, and about God.”
12 They told those lies to their elders and law teachers, and to a lot of other people at God’s ceremony house. Then all those leaders got angry, and they went out and grabbed Stephen, and they took him to the mob called the Jewish Leaders Council, for them to judge him. 13 Those men from that meeting house of the free men got those liars to stand up and say, “Stephen keeps on talking against this ceremony house. And he keeps on talking against our Jewish law. 14 You know, we heard him say that Jesus from Nazareth will knock down this house. He says that Jesus will change the way we live and stop us doing the things that Moses told us to do.”
15 All the men in the Jewish Leaders Council looked carefully at Stephen, and they saw that his face was shining, just like the face of one of God’s angel messengers.