Stephen was one of the great men of faith in the early church. He was one of the men to be chosen to care for the widows who were being neglected.
He also was the first Christian martyr. He was willing to die for his faith.
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. They took hold of Stephen and brought him before the Sanhedrin, the Jewish rulers.
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 and accuse them.
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.