December 13, 2023 – Wednesday
Acts 6:8-10 NKJV
8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people. 9 Then there arose some from what is called the Synagogue of the Freedmen (Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and those from Cilicia and Asia), disputing with Stephen. 10 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke.
Acts 6:8-10 NET
8 Now Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and miraculous signs among the people. 9 But some men from the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), both Cyrenians and Alexandrians, as well as some from Cilicia and the province of Asia, stood up and argued with Stephen. 10 Yet they were not able to resistthe wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke.
Who was Stephen? Why is he mentioned so prominently in Acts? Stephen was among the seven chosen to settle a complaint by the Hellenist Jews against the Hebrew Jews – where they were all Christians – about the daily distribution of food. To settle this, the apostles said to pick (verse 3) seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
We are not told how, but they picked, 5Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch, 6 whom they set before the apostles; and when they had prayed, they laid hands on them. And that is how we are introduced to Stephen he was a helper.
Then in verse eight we find that Stephen was truly a man full of faith (grace) and the holy spirit as verse eight tells us (NET), 8 Now Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and miraculous signs among the people. Now, again, we know nothing about Stephen other than he was chosen as a helper and he was described as a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit. The twelve accepted him and six others. Nothing seems to stand out about him other than the description given that may have been meant for him and the other six as well. But then, out of nowhere, we are told he was performing great wonders and miraculous signs among the people.
Once again, we are not told how this came about or that he was preaching or teaching the gospel. But he must have been doing so as verse nine says, 9 Then there arose some from what is called the Synagogue of the Freedmen (Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and those from Cilicia and Asia), disputing with Stephen. He must have been making an impact for there to be so many to rise up to publicly clash with him. Yet that is what happened. No particulars are given other than as they clashed with him,10 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke.
Consider Stephen a person like many of us. Unknown, but full of faith and the Holy Spirit. One of us may become the Stephen of the 23rd year of the 21st century. The wonders and signs may be simply sharing the gospel and bringing the good news of salvation to others, so some become saved. All it takes is being full of faith and the Holy Spirit AND a willingness to share the good news of salvation through Jesus the Messiah.
Bottom Line: What are we waiting for? Stephen from what we are told, he just stepped out in faith and told of the wonderful news of salvation and grace through Jesus whereupon great things happened.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, You continue to share with us through Your word how it only takes one of us to step out in faith to share the good news of Jesus the Christ and many may be saved. Thank You for the incredible example of Stephen. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Still writing and working for the Glory of God