Stories of the Bible – The Stoning of Stephen

Today’s story was suggested by Lily Pierce!

At the beginning of this piece of history, a zealous young Christian deacon named Stephen is arrested and accused of blasphemy by the corrupt religious leaders. They have false witnesses testify against him, but Stephen, filled with the spirit of God, gives a detailed argument that they can’t disagree with.

The religious leaders are so enraged that they lose any self control they had. 

When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth.

But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,

And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. -Acts 7:54-56, KJV

This makes them more angry than anything yet. They literally yell in anger and clap their hands over their ears. They run at Stephen and throw him out of the city.

The religious leaders take off their coats and start to stone Stephen. (Stoning is a gruesome way to die, in which large rocks are thrown at a person until he is killed.) However, there is so much here in the next few verses:

And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.

And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep. -Acts 7:59-60, KJV

First of all, there is a striking similarity between the last words of Stephen and the last words of Jesus. Jesus, too, asked the Father to forgive his murderers. I don’t know if I could have done that.

He never seemed afraid, or even upset that he was being killed. He totally trusted God and stood up for what he believed the entire time.

Stephen also didn’t get all up in the faces of those doing him wrong. He told them the truth fearlessly, but he wasn’t unnecessarily cruel.

Throughout his recorded life, Stephen was definitely a man filled with the spirit of God. He did the right thing for the right reason in the right way; now that is something to aspire to.

What speaks to you about Stephen’s story?

What is your favorite Bible story?

Comment below.

18 Comments Add yours

  1. I’m always so amazed when I read that story of the courage it gave the Christians who heard of Stephen’s stoning. When we have courage to stand up for God, others around us that we maybe wouldn’t have been able to see, find the strength to stand up too.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Amen! That is so inspiring.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So inspiring what we can do as ordinary people when filled with the Spirit!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. vicklea says:

    I enjoyed being reminded of Stephen’s faith and courage. The conversion of Paul would be a good follow up since he originally participated in the stoning of Stephen as well as the persecution of many other Christians.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it would! Great idea!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It always amazes me that:
    “he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,”. He had stood up bravely and preached with courage, and now God gives him that “something extra” to help him through those terrible moments of suffering, the ability to actually see into heaven that which he had up to that time believed only by faith. This just wow’s me!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! That is amazing!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. roninjax says:

    Stephen is an excellent example of faithfulness to the end – still having love in his heart for those persecuting him. Jesus set the ultimate example and took upon Himself all the persecution of the age, showing God’s true love for His creation – through death, burial and resurrection. I like so many of the actual accounts in the scriptures it’s hard to pick my favorite. I do like the transfiguration.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is a good one! I’ll add it to my list. Thank you so much for your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. roninjax says:

        My pleasure. Thank you as well. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Again, so much wisdom! Thank you for sharing this truth with us!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 😊 I’m so happy you liked it!

      Like

  7. T. R. Noble says:

    His story has always been one of my favorites. So powerful and moving.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s an inspiring story!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. This story always touched me so much. It shows us the endless love of our Savior Jesus Christ through His ultimate sacrifice for us. It also shows that when the time comes for us to die for Christ we must keep the faith even until death just as Stephen did. I like how you covered this story. Blessings.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, amen! It’s such an amazing story.

      Liked by 1 person

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