Daily Word

Stephen stoned – meets His Maker | Acts 7:54-60

54 The Jewish leaders were infuriated by Stephen’s accusation, and they shook their fists at him in rage.[m] 55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed steadily into heaven and saw the glory of God, and he saw Jesus standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 56 And he told them, “Look, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand!”

57 Then they put their hands over their ears and began shouting. They rushed at him 58 and dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. His accusers took off their coats and laid them at the feet of a young man named Saul.[n]

59 As they stoned him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 He fell to his knees, shouting, “Lord, don’t charge them with this sin!” And with that, he died.

Acts 7:54-60 (NLT) 中文

Trial speech concludes

At Stephen’s trial, he’s given them the abbreviated history of the Jews with an emphasis on God’s promises to be faithful to Israel – despite their rejection of Him and the people (like Moses and Joseph) He sent to save them. After preaching about God’s dwelling place (not in a man-made building) he hit ‘em between the eyes with an accusation of being like their ancestors and killing Jesus.

Respond in rage

The judges in the “courtroom” couldn’t handle this and responded with rage. You can almost feel it. We’ve seen this before in their response to Jesus (Luke 6:11). Stephen must have known what lay ahead. But did he shrink back in fear? Did he change his tune and say, “Oh sorry, I offended you. Let’s agree to disagree about Jesus. You go your way, I’ll go my way.”?

Seeing God

No! The Spirit filled him, emboldened him, encouraged him … to face death. And he got to see Jesus standing in Heaven – possibly welcoming him home. The right hand of a ruler is the place of honor. A ruler would, “put someone on his right hand [which] gave him equal honor with himself and recognized him as possessing equal dignity and authority.” (gotquestions.org) See (Ephesians 1:19-21, Psalm 110:1). 

Magnified rage

This they absolutely could not accept. This was complete blasphemy, an offense against God (in their book, that is). No man can be God, they thought. That is why they put their hands over the ears – to show visibly that they can’t accept this. You might say it was the straw that broke the camel’s back. So they grabbed him to take him outside the city to stone him to death. Luke includes an introduction to Saul here, who we’ll meet next in chapter 8.

Like his Lord

When I was a kid, before accepting Christ, our family watched the Jesus movie on TV. The one part I paid attention to that moved me, a high schooler, to tears, was when Jesus, on the cross, said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34) Stephen must have known this and offered the same petition of forgiveness out of love.


  • Jesus told His disciples to be ready for tribulation (John 16:33) and persecution – even in court (Luke 12:11). Stephen, a disciple, is experiencing the fulfillment. It is possible that you and I could as well. As we see the world slowly turn away from the Truth, those who follow the Truth will be persecuted. Will we, like Stephen, “fix our eyes not on what is seen but what is unseen, for what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal”? (2 Corinthians 4:18). 
  • We should be, “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)
Stephen stoning sees God. Image from thegospelcoalition.org *

🤞 May I notify you of new posts?

They'll be sent out as soon as new POSTs are created, which has been daily (hence the name) for over 15 years.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to content