Would You Recognize Him?

Acts 7:20-29
Main Verse: Acts 7:27
by Brian Phillips

Stephen was full of wisdom and the Holy Spirit, and did great wonders and miraculous signs.  As a result, large crowds began to follow him.  That didn’t go over very well with the religious leaders in Jerusalem.  So, in order to make Stephen stop, they began making up stories about him.  The worst of which was that he was going around saying disrespectful things about Moses and about God.

In today’s verses, he finds himself defending his words and actions.  There are two points he wants to make.  One is that he respects Moses, contrary to the lies being spread about him.  And the second is that the religious folks in Jerusalem were just like those of Moses’ day:  They didn’t recognize it when God sent someone to save them.

Stephen praises Moses.  He calls him “a beautiful child in God’s eyes” (v. 20), says he was “mighty in both speech and action” (v. 22), acknowledges Moses’ concern for the Jews (v. 24), affirms his calling to rescue them (v. 25), and points out Moses’ gift of peacemaking (v. 26).  Those aren’t words you would use to describe someone you didn’t admire.

Then, he points out that the very people Moses came to save turned on him (v. 27).  It was Stephen’s subtle way to point the finger back at the religious people.  He was saying, “You have a history of not recognizing people who God sends to save you!”  For, just like their ancestors rejected Moses, they were rejecting Jesus.

Food for Thought
It was my birthday, and my friends took me to The Grape Vine, a dark, tiny hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  We had a nice time.

On the way out, I noticed my dad seated by the exit door.  He hadn’t called me to wish me a happy birthday, yet, so I wondered if he’d forgotten.  I figured the half-eaten birthday cake I was carrying might be a subtle reminder, so I walked up to his table.  He looked up and then looked back at his friend.  I know it was dark, and that I hadn’t seen him in about a month, but I could hardly believe it:  My dad didn’t recognize me!

So What Now?
Has it been so long since you’ve spent time with Jesus that you wouldn’t recognize Him if He were standing right in front of you?  Take time now to get reacquainted with your Lord and Savior.

Lord Jesus, I’m sorry I’ve been too busy for you.  Please forgive me.  Give me a desire to grow deeper in You.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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