onsdag 15. juni 2016

Why such anger?

I was fascinated by law-studies several years before it was clear that my youngest brother came to choose it as his "career". After he made his choice, my interest has not grown less. The case against Stephen is interesting in all its cruelty. For what was really the cause of the anger and the stoning?

Luke claims that they brought forth "false witnesses" (Acts 6:13-14). But is it possible that they just repeated the interpretation of what they had actually heard - and that it was the interpretation that was completely wrong? Nevertheless, Luke chose to give a full record of the defense-speech. I could go into detail, but I do remember the "glasses" I have on: The speech is about human resistance to the Holy Spirit and the rejection of his advocates throughout history:

You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit!
Acts 7:51
When a man resists the Holy Spirit, it's easy to misinterpret a statement such as: the Most High does not live in houses made by human hands (Acts 7:48) - and say that it is an attack on Temple.

When the Holy Spirit also "characterized" by creating unrest because he convicts of sin, it is easy to conclude: "Let us get rid of the source of this unrest"- and of course the "unrest" is often identified with the person who is God's instrument.

In addition, it is important to remember that the Law allowed for the stoning of people who were found guilty of blasphemy.

Spirit-filled people are very often causing unrest even though they do not want to be provocative. It was like that in the Old Testament time. Jesus and the first community of believers experienced it and down through the history of the church we can see it very clearly. And even today it is still the case - and it does not only happen outside the church, but may be even more often inside.

When Stephen "filled with the Holy Spirit" saw "heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God". It was the 'drop that made the stones drop', and Stephen became the first martyr of the church.

'Manna' for today:
The Holy Spirit is the spirit of truth.
Therefore he becomes a challenge.

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