Acts 6: 8-14….. The opposition shows its hand.

And Stephen, full of grace and power, was doing great wonders and signs among the people. Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), and of the Cyrenians, and of the Alexandrians, and of those from Cilicia and Asia, rose up and disputed with Stephen. But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking. Then they secretly instigated men who said, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.” And they stirred up the people and the elders and the scribes, and they came upon him and seized him and brought him before the council, and they set up false witnesses who said, “This man never ceases to speak words against this holy place and the law, for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and will change the customs that Moses delivered to us.

Comment: Until now the story of Acts is about opposition but great growth. The trial of Stephen marks the beginning of martyrdom and murder. Stephen was one of the people chosen by the early believers to care for the section of the church which came from a more Greek (Hellenistic) background. And it was men from the ‘Hellenistic’ Jewish synagogue who disputed with Stephen, a man being greatly used of God in Jerusalem. Apparently the Hellenistic Jews didn’t like rules and the believers were committed to doing the will of Jesus, that is obedience to Him. So with false accusations they led Stephen before the Jewish leaders whom they knew already hated the followers of Jesus. (see devotion of Dec 19th) Their accusations against Stephen were false but they made a good case to introduce deathly events about to come upon Stephen.

Prayer: Help me to be steadfast but never to be devious when I differ from others.

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