2 To this he replied: “Brothers and fathers, listen to me! The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham while he was still in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Harran. 3 ‘Leave your country and your people,’ God said, ‘and go to the land I will show you.’ Acts 7:2-3
Stephen didn’t waste time denying allegations. He just launched into a full length teaching. Notice he hooked them initially by using words like “our father Abraham” and “brothers and fathers.” He was just a fellow Jew talking to other Jews. He was on their side, that is, until he wasn’t. We’re not there yet but he’s intentionally setting them up.
I marvel at the way God uses men and women who serve Him.
- What did Stephen do before this? We don’t know.
- What was his training? No one knows.
- How did he become such a great storyteller? That was partly because of the influence of the Holy Spirit, but he had to have done it throughout his life.
We know very little about Stephen but what he did here was bold and daring. He knew that these men could put him to death. He at least knew what they were capable of.
And he preached anyhow!
I think of the words to this song:
Give me some men who are stout-hearted men,
Who will fight, for the right they adore,
Start me with ten who are stout-hearted men,
And I’ll soon give you ten thousand more.
Shoulder to shoulder and bolder and bolder,
They grow as they go to the fore.
Then there’s nothing in the world can halt or mar a plan,
When stout-hearted men can stick together man to man.
D.L. Moody once said, “The world has yet to see what God can do with a man fully consecrated to him. By God’s help, I aim to be that man.” Stephen had certainly believed that.
How would the world change if we adopted that mindset? How would our world change?