The Stoning of Stephen – Acts 7

Pietro da Cortona, Stoning of Saint Stephen, 1...

Pietro da Cortona, Stoning of Saint Stephen, 1660. Acts 7:55 says that, as he was dying, Saint Stephen saw Jesus standing at the right hand of God. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As Stephen prepares to wind down and get to the ultimate point in his history lesson to the Sanhedrin, comes to the house of worship. He speaks of the tabernacle that Moses had built under God’s direction (verse 44, Exodus 25). He speaks of the Israelites bringing it into Canaan under Joshua, where it remained until David’s time. Then Solomon built a house for the Lord. But he reminds them in verses 48-50, that God does not dwell in the temple, and for all its glory, His own hands made everything in it.

He then addresses the council more personally, and speaks of their own vile rejection of “the cornerstone” and their betrayal of God and His son, saying:

“You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears,
you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you.
Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute?
And they killed those who announced beforehand
the coming of the Righteous One,
whom you have now betrayed and murdered,
you who received the law as delivered by angels
and did not keep it.”

Stephen had not only turned the tables on his own accusers as having gone against God, but had called them the murderers that they were! Their fury had to have been something to see. Then verses 55-57 read:

But he, full of the Holy Spirit,
gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God,
and Jesus standing pat the right hand of God.
And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened,
and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”

I believe this is a literal account of what the Spirit showed Stephen before he died. It must have been a most comforting sight, knowing that he would be with the Lord soon. So they dragged him out of the city, and laid their garments at the feet of a man named Saul (stoning was hard, sweaty work) before they stoned Stephen to death.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week

Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Acts here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

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All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.



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