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Stephen's Defense before the High Priest (16 of 24)
Series: The Acts of the Apostles: A Verse-by-Verse Study
December 5, 2007
INTRODUCTION: In our last lesson, we looked at (Acts 6:8-15) and the false accusations brought against Stephen. It says in Acts 6:12-13, "And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and caught him, and brought him to the council,  And set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law."
The council referred to in (vs. 12), was the Sanhedrin. The Sanhedrin was a body of judges, comprised of both Pharisees and Sadducees. There were 71 members in all--70 members, plus the high priest. The Sanhedrin had its roots in the Old Testament, under Moses. In Numbers 11:16, "The Lord said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee."
As Stephen stood before the court, false witnesses began to accuse him. In Acts (6:13-14, "And they [sic] set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law:  For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us."
As the Jewish leaders all looked upon Stephen, it says in (vs. 15b, they "...saw his face as it had been the face of an angel." We can imagine their shock--they had never witnessed anything like this before. The presence of the Lord was so real and so evident in Stephen's life that his face shone. It reminds us of the story of Moses, and how, after he had been in the presence of the Lord, his face shone.
Wouldn't it be nice to know that the Lord's presence was so real and so evident in your life and in mine, t ...
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