Acts 6:5 -8:2
Stephen, by his life and death, is a most wonderful testimony of faith and grace.
Stephen was chosen, along with six others, to minister to daily needs of others so that the apostles could continue their work of prayer and ministry of the Word. The men desired for this job were to be “of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom” (Acts 6:3), and Stephen is said to be “a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost.” Stephen may have been chosen to minister to the needs of others, but Acts 6:8 tells us that he “full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people“. But there arose V9-11 “certain of the synagogue….and they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spoke.” And they “suborned (bribed) men to say “we have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God.” They stirred up the people and Stephen was caught and taken to the council. Then V12-14 These men set up false witnesses to say that Stephen spoke blasphemous words against the synagogue and the law.
The Lord Jesus spoke of a time when his disciples would be taken and persecuted, and we are not to even think beforehand what we will say, his promise was as surely for us as it was for Stephen “For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.” (Luke 21:15)
But when Stephen was before the council “all that sat in the council, looking steadfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.” (Acts 6:15) Surely it must have shone with that inner beauty and glow of peace and joy of one who is so devoted to the Lord Jesus that His light is seen by others. Have you ever seen such a one? I have seen many elderly saints whose faces shone with that inner peace and beauty. What an example this should be to us, and cause us to examine our own lives to see how devoted we are to the Lord Jesus so that others see that light in us.