Stephen’s Defense Before the Council (7:1-53). When the high priest asked if the charge of blasphemy against him was true (see 6:11-14), Stephen replied with a history lesson. He reminded his accusers of how despite God’s promises and deliverance, Israel repeatedly resisted the prophets God sent to rescue them. They were lawless and rebellious people, culminating in their rejection of the Righteous One (see 3:14-15).
Stephen is Killed (7:54-60). “Lord, do not hold this sin against them,” was the final words of Stephen. This prayer is reminiscent of Jesus in Luke 23:34. Stephen’s message should have evoked repentance and restoration, but instead induced fury and wrath, ending in murder.
Practical Lessons: (1) Where there is a poor memory, concerning God’s promises and deliverance, there is a poor spirit. (2) Courage is a rare jewel, but it shines brightest in the hearts of those who truly believe. (3) A forgiving spirit is a Christ-like spirit.