Following on from his appointment in Acts 6.1-7, Stephen gets to work and is full of grace and power. God works great wonders and signs through him but the tide of popular opinion seems to have turned and some rose up and disputed with [him]. They lay false accusations against him that twist his words and accuse him of speaking against the God that he is so boldly proclaiming.
Arrested and brought before the council (who no doubt were exasperated at having another Jesus-proclaiming person to deal with) Stephen is lied about and conspired against (vv.13-14). Throughout this, however, Stephen retains perfect peace knowing the God he serves never abandons His people (v.15).
The things Stephen was accused of translate well to orthodox and proper teaching about Jesus. See, Stephen was accused of saying:
“…blasphemous things against Moses and God.” – Jesus is greater than Moses and God in the flesh (Hebrews 1.8, 3.3).
“…words against this holy place…” – We saw this misunderstanding before in John 2.19, Jesus Himself accused of the same thing.
“…against the law…” – Jesus said the same thing in Matthew 5.17.
“…destroy this place and change the customs that Moses delivered to us.” – Jesus is far greater and does more for people than religious customs and traditions and again, Jesus said as much in Mark 2.18-22.
Stephen had such a perfect peace about him in the face of arrest and persecution because he knew that he was declaring truth and that first and foremost, he was right with God.
Thought for today – Does what I say about Jesus line up with the truths of Scripture?