For my Wednesday Night Bible Study class for Kindergarteners-6th grade, I decided to do an overview of the life of Stephen. Most of us know that he was the first Christian killed for his faith, but do we know what led up to that? Well, here’s an overview of what Acts 6 & 7 says about Stephen and his incredible courage.
Background of Stephen
6:1 widows are not being well taken care of
6:2-4 the 12 decided to choose 7 other men to help take care of the widows
6:5 the men are “Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch”
6:6 apostles lay hands on these men
6:7 word of God was spreading
6:8-10 Stephen was performing signs and wonders, but some of the men didn’t like it. “They were unable to cope with the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking.”
6:11-12 these men get others to lie about Stephen, which got other people upset so he was dragged away and brought before the Council
6:13-14 witnesses came and lied about him
6:15 Stephen’s face looked like a face of an angel
7:1 the high priest asks Stephen if these things are true
Stephen’s Reply – the history of the Jewish people
7:45-50 Joshua, David, and Solomon
to the Council
7:51 they are being “stiff-necked” and resisting the Holy Spirit
7:52 the prophets were killed
7:53 even though they had the law, they didn’t follow it
Stephen Put to Death
7:54 the Council was angry at his answer
7:55-56 Stephen looks into heaven and sees Jesus at the right hand of God
7:57 they covered their ears and rushed at him
7:58 they drove him out of the city and started to stone him, while others laid their robes at the feet of Saul
7:59-60 they continued to stone him, he cried out to God, feel on his knees prayed, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!”, then he died
* When I used this in my class, we read some of the verses aloud and others I just summarized for them. We then really discussed what happened. How would they react to the Council? Would they be willing to ask God to forgive those who were in the process of killing them? We talked about the courage Stephen had to stand up for what he believed. Would they be able to do the same?
* Then we acted it out a little. We had someone act like Stephen and then the others were the Council. When it came to the stoning, we crumpled up paper to throw.
Image Credits: Sweet Publishing and Distant Shores Media
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