Sunday, July 24, 2011

New Testament Lesson 29: The Number of the Disciples Was Multiplied

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

Scripture Block: Acts 6-9
Location: Freehold, New Jersey

I didn't have to teach this Sunday School lesson because I am currently in Freehold, New Jersey but theirs is Lesson 28 still. Of course that gives me no reason to murmur, but surely this is a simple example of a cultural diversity that I observe as I attend Sunday School in different States - California, Colorado, and New Jersey during my five-Sunday vacation.

The scripture block teaches us of the cultural diversities in the early church when the number of the disciples was multiplied, [and] there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration (Acts 6:1). Some of the new disciples include Philip, Stephen, Paul (formerly Saul) and how they encountered the Lord and learned the truth during their journeys. All of them tarried not after conversion (Acts 22:16) and stood as witnesses of Jesus Christ “at all times and in all things, and in all places.”

Like Stephen, Philip and Paul we are living in a time when the Church is growing rapidly. The Lord wants us to serve in His kingdom as it grows. And just as the "foot, the hand, the ear, and the eye are important in their different functions", so are all members of the Church important with their different qualities, talents, skills and experiences.

Elder James E. Faust said "As I have move into more and more countries in the world, we find a rich cultural diversity in the Church. Yet everywhere there can be a “unity of the faith (Eph. 4:13). Each group brings special gifts and talents to the table of the Lord. We can all learn much of value from each other. But each of us should also voluntarily seek to enjoy all of the unifying and saving covenants, ordinances, and doctrines of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ."

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