What’s one thing most siblings have in common? They love making up things about each other to their parents to see if they can get each other in trouble. If you’re an older sibling, you must be the “favorite child.” If you’re a younger sibling, you must be “always innocent.” How blessed must our parents feel to know that all of their children are perfect and that their kids can never do anything wrong! Of course I’m joking, because we know that our parents love us equally and nobody is perfect…except for the one person who was literally chosen and created to be perfect….Jesus Christ!
I’m reminded of a man named Stephen in the Bible who was chosen to proclaim the teaching of Jesus Christ after His resurrection and ascension into heaven. We are introduced to Stephen in the book of Acts (Chapters 6-8), where we are told that the 12 disciples needed some help in spreading the word about Jesus Christ, so they recruited Stephen, “a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit.” Stephen was very bold and brave when he taught others about Jesus, so much so that people begin to make up things he was saying because they were secretly jealous and amazed at how passionate he was about Christ. The Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria tried to tell the high priests that Stephen was “speaking words of blasphemy against Moses and against God.” In response to this, Stephen proceeds to basically retell the entire Old Testament from memory to try to prove to people accusing him that they are the ones ignoring God’s word, not him! In response to this, the Jews stoned Stephen to death and his last words were, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.”
Stephen knew he wasn’t Jesus, but he did everything he could, right up to death, to ensure others got the chance to know all about Jesus. We can all learn from Stephen because God chooses each of us to reflect Christ and teach others about Christ in our own way. We don’t need to make anything up because the Bible provides us with everything we need (even when dealing with our siblings). Stephen’s last words remind me of WWJD (What Would Jesus Do). LOVE and FORGIVE.