Stephen continued addressing the council of Jewish elders (245).
“When the time drew near for God to keep the promise he had made to Abraham, the number of our people in Egypt had grown much, much larger. At that time, a king who had not known Joseph began to rule in Egypt. This king was cruel, forcing our ancestors to kill their baby boys.
“Also at that time, Moses was born, a very beautiful child. He was cared for at home for three months, and then the king’s daughter adopted him & brought him up as her own son.
“Moses was taught all the wisdom of the Egyptians and became a man great in words and deeds.
“When Moses was 40 years old, he saw one of his fellow Israelites being beaten by an Egyptian.
“Moses took revenge on the Egyptian by killing him! He thought that surely his own people would understand that God was going to use him to set them free, but they did not understand.
“The very next day, Moses saw two Israelites fighting, and he tried to make peace between them. ‘Listen, men,’ he said, ‘you are fellow Israelites; why are you fighting like this?’ But one of them pushed Moses aside. ‘Who made you ruler & judge over us?’ he asked. ‘Do you want to kill me, just as you killed that Egyptian yesterday?’
“When Moses heard this, he knew he had to flee from Egypt, or face execution by the king for killing the Egyptian guard. So Moses went to live in Saudi Arabia, where he married & had two sons.”
(245) Acts 7:17-29
The High Priest asked Stephen if the accusations against him were true. The Holy Spirit inspired Stephen to respond — first, by turning their focus toward God & all that he had done for the children of Israel (243).
“Brothers, please, hear me. God told our ancestor Abraham to leave his relatives & his residence in Iraq, saying, ‘Leave your family & country and go to the land that I will show you.’ So Abraham first moved to Haran; after Abraham’s father died, God directed him to move further on, until he arrived here in Israel.
“At that time, God didn’t give Abraham any part of Israel as his own, not even one square foot of ground. But God did promise to give all of Israel and the surrounding lands to Abraham & his descendants, even though Abraham then had no children.
“God told Abraham: ‘Your descendants will live in a foreign country, where they will be slaves & will be badly treated for 400 years. But then I will judge & punish the people who enslave them, and afterward your descendants will come out of that country & will worship me in this place.’
“God also gave to Abraham the ceremony of circumcision as a sign of this covenant promise. So Abraham circumcised Isaac a week after he was born; Isaac circumcised his son Jacob; and Jacob circumcised his twelve sons — the famous ancestors of our race.”
(243) Acts 7:1-8
Thomas, one of the twelve chosen witnesses, was not there when Jesus came (222). When he joined them later the other witnesses told him, “We have seen Jesus!”
Thomas said to them, “Unless I put my finger on the scars of the nails in his hands & put my hand on the wound in his side, I will not believe.”
A week later the witnesses were together again behind locked doors; this time Thomas was with them. Again, Jesus appeared suddenly among them & said, “Be filled with peace.”
Jesus turned to Thomas & said, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands; then put your hand in my side. Stop doubting & believe.” Then Thomas did believe & exclaimed, “My Master & my God!”
Jesus replied with this promise: “Do you believe because you see me? Many people will believe without seeing me & they will be blessed by God for their faith.”
John the Witness wrote down many accounts of events in the life & ministry of Jesus. He wanted his readers to believe that Jesus is the Messiah of God. He wanted you to have new life by believing in Jesus.
At the end of his account of the life & ministry of Jesus, John also testified that Jesus did many other miracles which were not written down.
(222) John 20:24-31