The Unexpected Believers
The number of early believers grew exponentially under the leadership of Kefa, Ya’acov, and Yochanan – Peter, James, and John. “And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith,” as Acts 6:7 asserts.
One group of disciples in this verse was identified by their profession. This group unexpectedly recognized Yeshua to be the doorway to the Kingdom of God. They saw Him as a type of High Priest, whose followers were returning to the true Torah. This group was the priests.
Not all priests became believers. But, a great company of them did. They were actual priests, sons of priests who were unblemished in body and character. They served at the Temple in Jerusalem by their priestly divisions five times a year. All twenty-four divisions performed the Temple services for two weeks a year. Then, every division served during the three pilgrim festivals of Pesach, Shavuot, and Sukkot. Every priest was on duty for Passover, Pentecost, and the Feast of Tabernacles. Undoubtedly, they witnessed 3,000 festival pilgrims responding to Peter’s message in Acts 2:41.
The priests had witnessed other unusual signs occurring during the operation of the Temple for the past several years. The scarlet cord did not always turn white on Yom Kippur. The westernmost lamp on the Menorah sometimes failed. The heavy sanctuary doors occasionally opened by themselves. The wood on the altar of sacrifice did not burn perpetually (Yoma 39ab).
The priests in Acts 6:7 surprised themselves when they solved the riddle. Yeshua's life, death, resurrection, and teachings had impacted the Temple services. Indeed, He was the Promised Seed, the Son of God, and the hope of all ages.Published April 5, 2017