11 So they persuaded some men to lie about Stephen, saying, “We heard him blaspheme Moses, and even God.” 12 This roused the people, the elders, and the teachers of religious law. So they arrested Stephen and brought him before the high council.
13 The lying witnesses said, “This man is always speaking against the holy Temple and against the law of Moses. 14 We have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy the Temple and change the customs Moses handed down to us.”
15 At this point everyone in the high council stared at Stephen, because his face became as bright as an angel’s.
Stephen spoke truth… but not everyone appreciated that. He was arrested on false charges and brought in to be questioned by the religious leaders.
Stephen’s response to their accusations was unusual. We’ll read more about it tomorrow, but Stephen never actually offers a defense for himself. Most of us would have immediately gone into defensive mode refuting the ridiculous claims against us. But verse 15 gives us a glimpse of what Stephen did. It describes how his face became as bright as an angel’s. …His countenance physically changed. I believe that Stephen knew defending himself wasn’t needed – God knew he was innocent. But what was before Stephen was a grand opportunity to share the gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ. I believe, in that moment, Stephen sought to be in the presence of God before he began to speak and it showed on his face – and everyone could see it.
Help us to be in Your presence today. Help us to seek You for wisdom with our words and with our actions. We pray that we would be able to discern when to speak and when to be quiet as an example of Your grace and Your love. Let Your presence fill us so completely that it can be seen and felt by the people we come in contact with. Amen.