Posted by: bshelley | November 14, 2008

Like the Face of an Angel


Today’s Verse: Acts 6:15 And fixing their gaze on him, all who were sitting in the Council saw his face like the face of an angel. NASB

What an interesting observation in a very confrontational situation. False witnesses had claimed that Stephen had blasphemed against Moses and God and he had been dragged before the Jewish Council for “trial”. Not a comfortable place to find ones self. The story ends in Stephen being stoned to death for his testimony of Christ as Lord and Savior. He most certainly was aware of the gravity of the situation. Yet his demeanor, rather than being one of grave concern was the reflection of God’s grace and real presence. The particular wording here was used in the Old Testament to “denote peculiar wisdom” (2 Sam 14:17; 29:27). It was also used to describe “peculiar majesty and glory as if it were the very face of God” (Gen 33:10) [ref. Albert Barnes]. His expression was one that came from his communion with God. It is obvious that he was allowing the Holy Spirit to use him in this situation, how He might, even knowing the possible outcome. When people look into our face, what do they see? Do they see the worries of the world or fear of our mortality? Or, do they see a countenance of a face that radiates from within the very presence of Christ’s Spirit? People will not likely confuse my face with that of an angel, but that is not what is being said here. Stephen was at peace, calm and confident. He was filled with God’s wisdom and was fully prepared to give a defense even to a hostile crowd of the hope he had in Christ resurrected. Our comfort zone as Christians can all too often be limited to the space inside of the four walls where we meet on Sundays. It is safe to speak of such things there. Stephen showed that demeanor in the face of the worst of situations faced by a believer and yet radiated God’s light in that place. May God give us the faces of angels wherever we are found such that opportunities to tell of God’s love in Christ might be availed in God’s grace through our meager abilities.

May God bless your heart as you seek His.

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