Stephen is Martyred
Setting: Jerusalem, before the Sanhedrin (the ruling Jewish council)
Audience: Jewish leaders (members of the Sanhedrin)
Preceding Events: Stephen supernaturally does many miracles and amazing things. The opposition stirs up trouble, has him arrested, and persuades others to lie about him.
Overall Theme: Stephen gives a concise historical overview from Abraham up to Jesus. Throughout this history, God is at work.
Central Teaching: The Jewish people miss seeing God at work, resist the Holy Spirit, and reject Jesus, just as they did the prophets before him.
Subsequent Events: Stephen is Martyred, brutally killed by a mob.
Being bold for Jesus and filled with the Holy Spirit does not always guarantee our safety or a happy outcome.
In Stephen’s case, his words to tell others about Jesus don’t have the desired impact of them deciding to follow Jesus. Though the crowd is motivated by his message, they have the opposite reaction and instead kill the messenger, literally.
Read more about the book of Acts in Dear Theophilus, Acts: 40 Devotional Insights for Today’s Church now available in e-book, paperback, and hardcover.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.