Stephen



Stephen, the First Martyr
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Stephen was one of the great men of faith in the early church. Though he was not an apostle, he holds a special place in scripture because he was chosen to minister to the widows who were being cared for in Jerusalem. It seems that some of the widows were being overlooked and neglected, so Stephen and six other men who were "full of faith and the Holy Spirit", were chosen to take care of them.

He also was the first Christian martyr (MAR ter). A martyr is a person who holds to a belief so strongly that he/she is willing to die for it. Such was the faith that Stephen had in Jesus Christ.

Stephen was able to work miracles among the people. He began to preach and some of the Jews would argue with him about his beliefs. These evil men persuaded some men to say that Stephen was speaking against Moses and even against God. This wasn't true, but many people got upset about it because they believed it was true.

They took hold of Stephen and brought him before the Sanhedrin, the Jewish rulers. In the picture you can see him appearing before the group. Directly in front of him is the high priest with the beautiful breastplate on the front of his garment. It contained gold and twelve different precious gems. On each stone was written the name of one of the tribes of Israel.

These were powerful men who were able to make life and death decisions about people. But Stephen was not afraid to speak the truth. As he stood before them, they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.

He began to speak to them. He told about the whole history of the Jewish people beginning with Abraham. Then he accused the men, and their fathers before them, of hurting and killing the prophets, and even of killing the Righteous One, Jesus.

The rulers became very angry with him, but Stephen looking up to heaven, saw the glory of God, and he saw Jesus standing at the right hand of God. He told the men what he was seeing.

They put their hands over their ears because they didn't want to listen to him. They yelled at the top of their voices. They rushed at him, dragged him out of the city and began to stone him to death.

While they were throwing stones at him, Stephen prayed, "Lord Jesus receive my spirit," and "Lord do not hold this sin against them." Then he "fell asleep" (died).

He had the same forgiving spirit that Jesus had when he had said the same words when he was on the cross.

The young man who was consenting to Stephen's death was Saul of Tarsus.

Read the story in Spanish

Esteban, el Primer Cristiano Mártir

Read the story in Amharic



Stephen, the First Martyr





What does this story
mean to me?

Stephen was brave, and he was not afraid to speak the truth.

Suppose you and your friend are in a store, and you see her take something from a display and hide it under her coat. What do you do? Do you also take something to see if you can get away with it? Do you just say nothing? Or do you say to your friend, "You need to put that back. Stealing is not right, and you will be in big trouble when they catch you."?

You may lose your friend, but you will be doing her a favor if you can stop her bad behavior.

Stephen, by telling the truth, was willing to give up his life in order to please God.



Memory Verse

But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.

First Thessalonians 5:8 (NIV)



REVIEW

(Rest the mouse lightly over the ??? to see the answers in the alternate tags.)


1. To which group of women did Stephen provide help? The widows
2. How many men were chosen for this work?Seven.
3. What do we call a person who is willing to die for his/her faith?A martyr.
4.What did the evil men say about Stephen? They said he spoke against Moses and God.
5.What were the Jewish rulers called? The Sanhedrin
6. What was on the breastplate of the high priest? Precious stones with the names of the tribes of Israel written on them.
7. How did Stephen's face look when he began to speak? It looked like the face of an angel.
8. Who did Stephen accuse them of killing? The prophets and Jesus.
9. What did Stephen see when he looked up toward heaven? He saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at God's right hand.
10. What did he pray? Lord, receive my spirit, and do not hold this sin against them.
11. Who had prayed this prayer at an earlier time? Jesus.
12. Who was approving of Stephen's death? Saul of Tarsus.


You can read about Stephen in the Bible in
Acts 6:1-14 and Acts 7:1-60





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Acts 7:59-60 Fill-in the Blanks



646374: Stephen"s Test of Faith, DVD Stephen's Test of Faith, DVD
By Vision Video

Many kids can relate to 12-year-old Stephen: his peers mock him for his faith in Jesus. But then he has a wonderful dream---he meets his biblical counterpart, Stephen the Martyr, and other Christian heroes throughout history. When he awakens, he's empowered with an inner strength that'll inspire your children to live boldly for the Savior! Steven's Test of Faith is an inspiring challenge to all ages, a powerful tool for Sunday schools, the unsaved, classrooms, your home. This DVD encourages us to continue following Jesus Christ when we are put to "the test". Approx. 22 minutes.

Special Features

  • Spanish, Portuguese and Arabic language tracks with or without English subtitles
  • Biographical information on leading actors
  • Chapter titles provided for easy scene access






Search for Spanish Bible Stories

Search:
Christianbook.com

Spanish New Testament Bible Activities
English Version

Story #250





Tongues of Fire Philip

Page Comments

Most Recent Comments   ( See more comments on this page )
2013-08-09
Thank you for helping me to understand the life & times of deacon Stephen .
Cynthia Vaughn
2012-06-01
Thank you for taking time to develop this lesson,we will cerebrate our martryres on 3rd JuneI could not figure out how to handle Steven.Thank you
Sarah
Sarah
2011-08-05
May God Continue to Bless you and your family. Thank You. I love reading the story of Stephen. I have an cousin who is in prison now named Steve. I look forward to seeing him set free soon! With Christian Love, N. Korey Hart
I hope your cousin does well. I would like to recommend the New Life Behavior program for him. It was developed especially for people in prison to help them keep from returning to prison after they get out. Check it out. http://www.nlbi.net/


Leave a Comment       View all Comments


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Go to Calvary Chapel and look at story #250 for activities for "Stephen".
They have color sheets, crossword puzzles, word finds, and worksheets.

Graphic courtesy of The Bread Site public domain clipart collection

Puzzles on these pages courtesy of
Songs of Praise and Armored Penguin