June 15 – Acts 7:54-8:3

June 15 – Acts 7:54-8:3

54 The Jewish leaders were infuriated by Stephen’s accusation, and they shook their fists at him in rage.[a] 55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed steadily into heaven and saw the glory of God, and he saw Jesus standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 56 And he told them, “Look, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand!”

57 Then they put their hands over their ears and began shouting. They rushed at him 58 and dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. His accusers took off their coats and laid them at the feet of a young man named Saul.[b]

59 As they stoned him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 He fell to his knees, shouting, “Lord, don’t charge them with this sin!” And with that, he died.

Saul was one of the witnesses, and he agreed completely with the killing of Stephen.

Persecution Scatters the Believers

A great wave of persecution began that day, sweeping over the church in Jerusalem; and all the believers except the apostles were scattered through the regions of Judea and Samaria. (Some devout men came and buried Stephen with great mourning.) But Saul was going everywhere to destroy the church. He went from house to house, dragging out both men and women to throw them into prison.

Acts 7:54-8:3 (NLT)

One Comment

    Jason Parsons

    Stephen’s words of his speech where he called the religious leaders “stubborn”, “heathen at heart”, and people who “deliberately disobeyed God’s law” (Acts 7:51-53) was not received in a spirit of love and they became angered to the point where they didn’t seek Roman authority to execute. That’s a very fascinating aspect of this story. They took Stephen out and executed him without Pilate’s approval. I don’t know why or how they got away with it but Stephen’s death was a catalyst for the continuation of the fulfillment of Acts 1:8. Notice how Luke writes “and all the believers except the apostles fled into Judea and Samaria” (Acts 8:1). The stoning of Stephen moved followers of Jesus out to the second phase of Jesus’ plan to make himself known in throughout the whole world.

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