Stephen was the first person martyred for his Christian faith. He was dragged out of Jerusalem and stoned to death but his testimony bore much fruit. Saul, later called Paul, joined in condemning Stephen, but Stephen’s example of steadfast faith in Jesus and his prayer for forgiveness for his murderers found fruit in the mission and witness of Paul after his conversion. The Christian community in Jerusalem, fearful of the hostility of the Judean authorities, scattered. Thus, as a result of Stephen’s martyrdom, the gospel first began to spread beyond Jerusalem.
December 26, 2015 all-day