A BELIEVER IS STONED TO DEATH BY AN ANGRY MOB
Stephen Christianity’s First Martyr
VERSE TO KNOW: 2 ‘’ Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’’ (Acts 7:60)
Stephen, a deacon in the new church, distributes food and aid to Christianity’s poorer members and counsels forgiveness of sins through Jesus. He is so skillful in expressing his beliefs – many of which contradict Judaism—that the members of some synagogues are offended. One outraged group seeks out false witnesses, pays them to lie about Stephen’ s teachings, and forces him to defend himself before a council of Jewish elders.
As Stephen ends his speech, he raises his eyes to heaven and claims to see Jesus standing at the right hand of God. Onlookers in the court become so angry they surround the deacon and stone him to death. (Source National Geographic Special Edition) stephen christianity’s first martyr