Acts of the Apostles Chapter 7

Stephen continues his defense. He takes his accusers through the history of the Old Testament something they would be well aware of. I also think its interesting that he weaves through summing up everything from historical account. He knew the council knew the details so he just shared highlights. I do that often in sermons but once had someone write a hateful email about how we butcher the Bible. I assume this person hasn’t read the Gospels or the book of Acts to see how Jesus and the Apostles face summations of scriptures the people knew.

In his defense he brings up Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, the 2 patriarchs, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, David, Solomon. He tells them that these all looked forward to Christ. He makes it clear that their descendants opposed every prophet. Is as if he says, “They all looked forward to Jesus and you killed him!” He calls them stubborn, beaten at heart, deaf to the truth, resisters of the Holy Spirit, and persecutors of prophets.

Obviously this doesn’t go over well with the council. They start raging. Stephen sees heaven open. They kill him and he prays for Jesus to receive him and asks that it not be held against them. Saul is there approving of this act. This is his first appearance in the book of Acts and signal of the shift to come. We have our first recorded martyr for the cause of Christ.

 

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