Acts 6:8-15 (JDV)
Acts 6:8 Now Stephen, full of favor and power, was performing great marvels and signs among the people.
Acts 6:9 Opposition arose, however, from some members of the Synagogue of the Liberated, composed of both Cyrenians and Alexandrians, and some from Cilicia and Asia, and they got up to argue with Stephen.
Acts 6:10 But they did not have the strength to stand up against his wisdom and the Breath by whom he was speaking.
Acts 6:11 Then they secretly persuaded some men to say, “We heard him speaking blasphemous words against Moses and God.”
Acts 6:12 They stirred up the people, the elders, and the scribes; so they came, seized him, and took him to the Sanhedrin.
Acts 6:13 They also presented false testifiers who said, “This man never stops speaking against this sacred place and the law.
Acts 6:14 You see, we heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will tear this place down and change the customs that Moses handed down to us.”
Acts 6:15 And all who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at him and saw that his face was like the face of an agent.
Luke describes Stephen as a man whose ministry is empowered with supernatural strength. He performs miracles and speaks and presents himself as empowered by the same Spirit as Moses, the apostles, or even Christ. But that power for ministry also attracts opposition. Stephen’s opponents cannot succeed against his words, so they invent some half-truths and attribute them to Stephen, to discredit him.
Did Stephen speak against the temple? No, but he is a disciple of Christ, and Jesus had predicted that the temple would be destroyed soon.
Did Stephen blaspheme Moses, the law and God? No, but he did preach that Jesus is the Messiah, and that salvation is only through him.
When Stephen demonstrated his empowerment, Satan provided opponents who sought to discredit him and his ministry.
Lord, give us the courage to serve you, in spite of the opposition that service will produce.