... Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit
Some people love history, others think it is' bunk'! Stephen, like many of his Jewish people did love history. The Jews would tell the old, old story of what God had done for them in past years over and over again. But if we read Acts 6 and 7 we see that telling God's story got Stephen into great trouble and he was eventually put to death. Why?
There were many Jews who were jealous of Stephen and of the godly life and powerful works he was able to do in the name of Jesus. When Stephen was telling the Jewish leaders about parts of their own history he said these leaders were just like the hardhearted leaders of past times who killed godly prophets — these leaders in front of Stephen had indeed killed the Righteous One, Jesus.
You can imagine how full of anger and hatred Stephen's audience became. Stephen said they were "stiff-necked people, ... always resisting the Holy Spirit" (Acts 7:51). You don't win friends that way! So they took Stephen out and stoned him to death. Was Stephen a failure then? Did he tell the old, old story in vain? No!
You can read in Acts 7:55-59 how Jesus himself welcomed him home to heaven when he died. And from verse 58 we see that Stephen's story and Jesus's place in it obviously troubled one young man who later became one of Christ's great ambassadors. He was the Apostle Paul. So thank Go for Stephen's godly history stories!