Read: Acts 7:36-53

Stephen’s Speech (Pt. III) – The Rejection

In the last part of his speech, Stephen speaks a fiercely provocative and unrelenting truth: he challenges them, comparing them to the people of Israel who rejected the God who rescued them and turned their hearts back to slavery and false worship.

Explore the Theme: The council covers their ears, shouting at Stephen, rejecting the truth he brought to them and eventually bringing about his death. Why do you think they had such a visceral, violent reaction to his words? In his final words, he pleaded for God to spare them of their sin. What initial reactions do you have towards Stephen’s words? Toward his plea for their forgiveness?

Ask God: In what ways do you see Stephen mirroring the characteristics of God in this passage? Which of these characteristics would you most like to grow in? Which of these characteristics might God be calling you to grow in? Ask him. Then, ask him for the help you need.

Live it Out: In his final moments, Stephen was more concerned with the fate of his enemies over his own fate, because he had confidence in the open arms of Jesus that awaited him. In what ways can his act of grace reshape your perspective towards those who seem to oppose you? What are one or two things that you can do this week to help you cultivate a more grace-filled heart towards those who seem to make your life difficult?

We would like to thank Sandals Church for providing this plan.