Led by Saul or Tarsus, outside the walls of Jerusalem members of the Sanhedrin executed Stephen, a disciple of Yeshua, the resurrected Christ.
“1 Now Saul was consenting to his death. At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.” (Acts 8:1)
At the time, Saul was a Jewish pharisee, a persecutor of Christians out for vengeance against anyone in Christ. Though he did not stone Stephen personally, he aided and abetted to the execution of the disciple.
Because they feared for their lives, the members of the early church fled to safety in areas of Judea and Samaria where they continued to fulfill their commission to advance the gospel and share the truth about the life, death and rising of the Christ, Jesus of Nazareth, God’s begotten Son, Yahweh in the flesh.
God showed the magnificence of His plan through Saul’s persecution of Christians, as the pharisee unknowingly contributed to advancing the gospel to areas of Judea And Samaria otherwise ignored by missionaries.
“2 And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.” (Acts 8:2)
By devout, Luke illustrates the men who carried Stephen’s body to burial were Jews who were not believers, yet these men were against the execution of the disciple, a sign they were intrigued with the gospel and the faith based Christian church. These men arranged a proper Jewish funeral for Stephen, then mourned over his, voicing their protest against the execution of a man they deemed innocent of the charges raised against him.
“3 As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison.” (Acts 8:3)
Luke’s account of Saul’s endeavoring to persecute and kills Christians surely came from Paul as both men would eventually serve and travel together after Saul’s conversion. Here, Luke describes how Saul sought out believers, entering into their homes then dragged them violently to prison, to their death or both. Let’s pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Luke,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre