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The Stoning of Stephen June 10, 2016

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
Tags: , , , ,

Here are my thoughts on Acts 7:54-8:1a.

Summary: In this passage, the members of the Sanhedrin responded to Stephen’s rebuke with a paroxysm of rage. They dragged him out of Jerusalem and – with the approval of Saul – stoned him to death. Before Stephen passed away, though, he prayed for:

  • his ultimate salvation
  • God to forgive his murderers.

At that time, he was full of the Holy Spirit.

Thoughts: In verse 60 of chapter 7, Stephen prays for the forgiveness of his murderers. Calvin offers some insights on this point:

We know that we are all commanded by Christ to do what Luke tells us Stephen did, but nothing is harder than to forgive injuries so completely that we wish well to those who want our downfall. Therefore, we must always look to Stephen as an example.

In terms of doing good to others, one should consider the following cases:

  • doing good to those who do good to us; this could be viewed as a straightforward application of quid pro quo
  • doing good to those who are indifferent to us; this can be a difficult task – especially if we have high expectations of the other party
  • doing good to those who harm us; I wonder if anyone can do this without hesitation.

I would say that I have no struggles with the first case, as I strongly believe in the concept of quid pro quo. In terms of the second case, I have improved over the last few years – especially when I spend time with younger believers. I still fall short when it comes to the third case, though; I often find myself inwardly cursing those who harm me – even if I do not respond outwardly to their actions. Clearly I do not fully understand the concept of grace; thus, I need God’s help when it comes to loving those who harm me.



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