Stephen Martyred

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. — Acts 7:54-60.

The council members are “cut to the heart” on hearing the truth of God preached with confident force and direct application by Stephen. This piercing of their heart, make them guilty. Instead of repenting, they gnash their teeth at him. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looks into heaven and sees the glory of God, and Jesus standing at God’s right hand. He cries out that he sees the heavens open and Jesus, the Son of Man, standing at God’s right hand.

This further infuriates the council members, who stop their ears and with a loud voice, rush at him with one accord, after depositing their robes with Saul. They stone Stephen. Stephen calls on God and commits his spirit to the Lord Jesus. He kneels down and, with his dying breath, cries out that the Lord should not charge this sin against his killers. So saying, he dies.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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