Stephen: Real Faith, Real Mercy
Was Stephen one of the first people to be oppressed in the name of Jesus Christ? We know he was one of the first people to be discussed by the Apostles and one of the first martyr’s among the Saints.
After telling the priests and the people they do not understand and are, in fact, not following what Jesus had taught, they stood up and stoned him. Did Stephen curse them or resist in any way? No – he turned the other cheek and proclaimed Jesus Christ as Lord as the people were attacking him for his faith.
Do I have this in me? Do I have the depth of faith, mercy and grace that Stephen displays?
54 When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth.
55 But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God,
56 and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”
57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord;
58 and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul.
59 And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”
60 Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.