In yesterday’s reading, the Jerusalem church grew from a handful of people to several thousand – which was bound to catch someone’s attention.
And so it does. Many of the same religious leaders who opposed Jesus now sense a new threat. So they tighten the screws. It starts with the lynching of one man, Stephen. Soon, the religious establishment takes aim at the entire church.
But their crackdown backfires. As the believers scatter, they take the good news with them. What began as a local movement is about to become an empire-wide phenomenon.
Today, we’ll read pages 64-75 from Luke-Acts.
By now, you’ve probably met with your small group at least once. Remember to treat these discussions more like a book club than a traditional Bible study. Resist the urge to debate points of interpretation (there’s plenty of time for that later). Instead, give your fellow travelers space to react to the story as they experience it.
Pages 64 – 75 from Luke-Acts
Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed great wonders and signs among the people. Opposition arose, however, from members of the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called) – Jews of Cyrene and Alexandria as well as the provinces of Cilicia and Asia – who began to argue with Stephen. But they could not stand up against the wisdom the Spirit gave him as he spoke.
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