In this story of Stephen’s martyrdom, Luke intends for us to see parallels between Jesus’ crucifixion and Stephen’s stoning. What parallels can you find? Notice that Jesus’ place at God’s right hand doesn’t necessarily describe a physical location as much as it does Jesus’ authoritative position. Stephen asks Jesus, rather than God, to forgive his persecutors, indicating Jesus has the authority to forgive. The willingness to intercede on behalf of those who are about to kill him seems tremendously courageous, and yet most of us struggle with forgiving others even for small slights.
Who are people in your life that you struggle with forgiving? What power is that grudge holding over you today? How might working towards forgiveness loosen the hold that person or situation has over you?
In prayer, ask God’s help in forgiving someone who has harmed you.