Speaker: Jerry Cisar
This Sunday we arrive at the account of Stephen’s trial, defense, and execution. We’ll learn a little more about how stoning was carried out. More importantly we will try to learn from Stephen’s sermon what he intended for his first audience to learn. However, this text may raise some questions for us that we ought to consider.
I’ve been tempted to ask if Stephen was just trying to lull his enemies off to sleep with his long sermon, but he was actually proclaiming the Gospel in the context of the accusations he faced. However, consider these questions:
- Stephen’s prayers while being stoned sound very similar to Jesus’ prayers on the cross. How are they different? What can we learn from that?
- If we are full of God’s grace, and do not hold people’s sins against them, does that mean we will never offend them? Should Evangelism ever offend?
- If the Word, as I proposed last week, has conquered Jerusalem, why is Steven stoned? Why does the Lord Jesus, who is looking on, not deliver Steven? Why does God allow one of the most Godly men who has ever lived die so quickly?
- What is God’s purpose in allowing the church that has just been gathered from the nations in order to be His people to so quickly be scattered again?