Verses 8-9 tell us of Stephen’s wisdom, grace and power, and the signs and wonders that he worked. But not everyone was impressed by either his words or the miracles he worked. Verse 9 speaks of different groups from different synagogues that rose up and disputed with him. The Freedmen means just what it sounds like. These were former slaves, who had been freed. The other groups mentioned were from various geographic areas.
The point that the text makes is that these groups of Jews not only did not believe, but they were determined to silence him. When they argued with him, Stephen’s wisdom with the word of God, being filled with the Spirit, prevailed. They could not counter Stephen’s wisdom because it was the wisdom of God. So they sent men around secretly, telling the people, the elders, and the scribes that Stephen was speaking blasphemy against Moses and God Himself.
So they arrested him, and spoke their false charges against him, even saying that he was teaching that Jesus would “destroy this place” (meaning the temple), and will “change the customs that Moses brought to us.” The last verse of chapter 6 says that everyone on the council (the Sanhedrin) saw that his face was “like the face of an angel.” We can speculate what that means, but lit is likely that it had a sort of radiance somewhat like Jesus at His transfiguration to some degree. Clearly, it was a remarkable sight to behold.
One would think that itself would have been enough to alert the council that God might have something to do with what was going on. But some people never learn because of their hardened hearts.
(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
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility. When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Please check out my Books and my Facebook Author’s Page. You will find the links at this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books“.