Interpretive journey refers to a step by step technique to equip an individual realize the intention of God conveyed in a particular passage or verse of the scripture. The technique enables the reader to discern, evaluate and reach into a conclusion about the intended meaning within God’s context. This paper will analyze the book of Acts, chapter six verses one to seven (Acts 6:1-7) applying the five steps of the interpretive journey process.
Acts chapter six and seven is when Luke begins to discuss the Gentile mission. The Jerusalem church had become and was increasingly becoming bigger. It constituted of Jews from Palestine who were Aramaic speakers and those from Diaspora (Greek speaking). There was a complaint all over as the foreign Jews felt neglected by the ministration. They said to be receiving less proportion in the division of food stuffs and other amenities. The disciples (church leaders and faithful) saw that the church has gone astray about its mandate. Instead of serving and worshiping the Lord, people were much concerned about their business. After the disciples had explained to the crowd about the need to appoint seven individuals with a good reputation, it was a great idea that pleased everyone. The seven were identified, chosen and delegated to serve the people. This gave the opportunity for all people to serve the Lord. The gospel spread and many people became were transformed.
Step Two: Measure the width of the river to cross
This step involves evaluation and interpretation of the biblical situation to our situation today. In the time of the Jerusalem church, there was the feeling belonging and selfishness. This is because people were serving their desires more than God. They were overwhelmed with issues of the world rather than seeking the truth and going in the way of the Lord. This is seen in verse two where people were defined with ethnicity and language differences. The favor of distributing some basic commodities was given to the native Jew. The foreign Jew felt discriminated and were more concerned with that treatment instead of looking into the path of the Lord. This situation compares fairly with the current world and the church today. People have become greedy to an extent of forgetting the values and path of God. For example, corruption, nepotism and discrimination have taken over the world. People are guided by the gains of the world rather than the principles of the Lord.
Step Three: Crossing the Principle Bridge
The passage communicates various theological principles. First there is prayer. After the seven were chosen, the disciples laid hands on them before they were deployed to their tasks. Evidently, this shows the importance of prayer in Christianity. Before anything else, prayer must come first and should be a priority. Second is wisdom. The seven people chosen to serve the congregation met all the criteria of appointment. This included wisdom, faithfulness and desirable reputation. Wisdom in the Old Testament has been expressed in two ways. They are the ability of one to grasp knowledge and the practical extent of being wise in life. Wisdom is a pillar a strong pillar in Christianity. It enables Christians to be rational in judgment about daily life situations. The seven had the task to serve the people regardless of their background. This entailed a lot of wisdom and good moral values.
Step Four: Consult the Biblical map
The theological principles conveyed in Acts 6:1-7 presents lesson that Christians should learn to overcome the temptations of the world. This is because they fit in the teaching of the bible in almost all the books from the Old to the New Testament. For example, the apostles’ ministry is present and taught in the book of Romans 12:12. A similar teaching is found in Col. 4:2 of the Holy Scriptures. This includes the teachings of prayer and its importance to the life of a believer. Christians should be guided by prayers as it is the only communication to the creator. God promised to give to those who ask. In a similar way, the principles of wisdom, belief, faith and serving the Lord are taught in various passages and verses in the bible. Among them includes Gal 1:23, and Jude 3:1, 20:1.
Step Five: Grasp the text in our town
The apostles’ ministry in Acts 6:1-7 puts an emphasis to the teaching of the theological principles as discussed above. The success of the spread of gospel after the division of responsibilities, prayers and wisdom to serving the Lord tells much to the Christian world. One of the teachings is that they must live by prayer and dedication to serving the Lord. Nothing is greater than putting prayers first before anything else. Otherwise, one is doomed be in the wider path of temptations leading to failure. Wisdom in the church is equally critical and essential to the daily operation of the house of the Lord. This includes wisdom in the division of responsibilities and organization of the church.
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