Radiance under fire, Acts 6:8-15:
8 Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed great wonders and signs among the people. 9 Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called) – Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia and Asia – who began to argue with Stephen. 10 But they could not stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him as he spoke. 11 Then they secretly persuaded some men to say, ‘We have heard Stephen speak blasphemous words against Moses and against God.’ 12 So they stirred up the people and the elders and the teachers of the law. They seized Stephen and brought him before the Sanhedrin. 13 They produced false witnesses, who testified, ‘This fellow never stops speaking against this holy place and against the law. 14 For we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs Moses handed down to us.’ 15 All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.
‘’All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel’’ (15). Stephen was one of the seven men chosen to help the church get back on an even keel (5).
I can’t help but think about Moses who, when he came down from the mountain after meeting with God, had a shining face. But he himself was not aware of it. So it is that there can be a certain undefinable ‘something’ about a person who walks with Jesus; an aroma, a fragrance. They walk in the light of the Light of the world. They reflect His light and shine brightly and beautifully amid the darkness of this world, reflecting the rays of the Son.
I remember being in the country one night recently. There was minimal street lighting, but there was a full moon, and the night was brilliantly lit up. Stephen was like a full moon. There were no half measures with him. His commitment to Jesus was total and unquestionable and how he shone in his day! But Stephen also reminds me of Jesus. He was falsely accused like His Master (11). At least one of the charges was similar (13, 14). He was tried, and as we will see, he was put to death.
Stephen, exemplifies the Spirit filled life (5, 8, 10).But if you want a powerful ministry, don’t expect an easy life. You will ruffle feathers.
Prayer: Lord, I want to be as filled with the Holy Spirit as any person can be. Please strengthen me to face all the consequences.