The name shared


“When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. ‘Look,’ he said, ‘I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.’ At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, dragged him out of the city and began to stone him.” (Acts 7:54-58a)

The religious leader’s anger boiled over into a murderous action. They went crazy with rage. Their minds went completely off the rails, and they murdered an innocent man just because they didn’t like what he said. But that is what emotional rage is all about. It is senseless and evil. The Romans even knew better than to act like this. They at least needed a physical crime to act on. But no, Stephen died because some people didn’t like the words that came out of his mouth. And yet, he said what needed to be said, witnessing to the end, that Jesus was the Messiah.

There are evil people today that will murder Christians or others because of their words and beliefs. There is something inherently wrong with that. In a civilized society words must not cause violence. In a civilized society, free speech must allow for words that we agree with or disagree with to be spoken without physical violence being done. As Christians we know that there will be people that do not like what we have to say. We know they may try to shout us down or even be physically violent toward us. We are not surprised. Truth is not always easy to hear, yet we share it anyway. “…there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) That name is Jesus!

Heavenly Father, help us spread the name of Jesus. Help us be Your tools to share His Good News of Salvation. Help us wake others up to the reality that this life is only the beginning. There is so much more to come, if you know Jesus.

In His name. Amen.

Pastor Robert Forsberg is retired from Light of Christ Lutheran Church in Fairborn.

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