Today, as we celebrate the feast of the First-Martyr and Archdeacon Stephen, let us think about chapters 6 and 7 of the Acts of the Apostles.
In Chapter 6 of the Acts of the Apostles, we read in verse 10 that those who wanted to condemn St. Stephen couldn’t “stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him”.
Many are those that see the wisdom of the Spirit in many things, but how difficult is it to truly repent of our errors.
It is much easier for someone to shout out he “speaks blasphemous words against Moses and against God” (Acts 6:11). This kind of attack, without specifying when and where, and how is common and unfortunately, among Christians also.
Even though the members of the Sanhedrin saw that St. Stephen’s “face was like the face of an angel”, they felt obliged to follow what the crowd desired. In the crowd, there is power and money.
St. Stephen goes on to explain to the Sanhedrin that from the very beginning of their Faith with Abraham it was a Faith that would call a man to “leave his country and his people” (Acts 7:3)
St. Stephen then goes on to show the Sanhedrin how the Jews continuously blinded themselves to the Holy Spirit and to the evident facts about where the true Faith was. It was evident, but not convenient for the Jews. Beginning in verse 51 of the 7th chapter of Acts of the Apostles, St. Stephen says, “You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit! 52 Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him— 53 you who have received the law that was given through angels but have not obeyed it.”
We have received the law that was given by angels but do we obey it?
And so those who refused the Spirit (the very same Spirit of the Law) dragged him out of the city and stoned Him.