They stoned Stephen as he called out, saying, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!" Acts 7:59
|SERMONS, ESSAYS AND OPINIONS|
Stephen was a Christian whose story is told in the Book of Acts. He was stoned to death because of accusations of blasphemy, described in Acts 7. The apostle Paul (Saul) was present at Stephen's death, giving approval to it. Following his death, which probably occurred some time around 33 AD, the Jews of the early church became dispersed throughout Judea, Samaria and their Diaspora homelands, taking the gospel with them.
Death of Stephen
Stephen was stoned to death.
After-effects of Stephen's death
Acts reveals that great persecution arose after Stephen's death. Saul (later the apostle Paul) was one of the main perpetrators of this violence. Believers (probably predominantly Hellenistic Jews) left Jerusalem to escape the persecution, and the gospel travelled with them, for example, to cities such as Antioch. So this persecution resulted in expansion of the early church.
- Apart from Paul, Stephen was perhaps the most significant man in the early church. It seems he grasped what was new in Jesus’ thought better than almost anyone else.
Saint Stephen, The 1st Martyr