Nicolas of Antioch
30 January 2019
Nicolas of Antioch
Reading: Exodus 25-27; Acts 6
3 And so, brothers, select seven men who are well respected and are full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will give them this responsibility…5 Everyone liked this idea, and they chose the following: Stephen (a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit), Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas of Antioch (a Gentile convert to the Jewish faith, who had now become a Christian). (Acts 6:3, 5 NLT)
When I read the list of the first deacons of the Jerusalem church, I almost always focus on Stephen and Philip. Maybe that’s because they were such powerful men of faith! Maybe it’s because the rest of this chapter and the next tell the story of Stephen’s courageous witness and his martyrdom. Maybe it’s because Acts chapter 8 tells of Philip’s miracles in the city of Samaria and beyond, and of his ministry to the Ethiopian eunuch.
But this morning I noticed Nicolas of Antioch and I thought of something about him I admire, too. Nicolas of Antioch was a life-long seeker after God! Nicolas was born a Gentile and given a Greek name, but at some point in his life, he believed Yahweh was the one true God and made the challenging, and possibly difficult, conversion to Judaism.
Then Jesus came and lived and died and rose again, and Nicolas believed the Good News and became a Christ-follower. Nicolas of Antioch is a good example of the kind of leaders and influencers churches need today. Nicolas of Antioch is a good example of the kind of Christians it will take to bring the truth of God’s Kingdom to the world he loves in a time of unprecedented change!
Like Nicolas of Antioch, I want to be known as a life-long seeker of God who is willing to learn and change and grow. How about you?
Father, I pray for the grace and passion to never stop seeking after you. Thank you for your persistent grace that leads me forward and your patience that gives me time to adjust and grow. May I, like Nicolas, be willing and able to make challenging, and even difficult, steps forward in faith as I seek to know you more and to follow my Master Jesus more fully. Amen.