This is a simplified version of the Bible story found in Acts 6:8-15,7:1-60, written for children to understand. For the original version, please refer to the Bible passage.
There was a man named Stephen who was full of grace and power, and he did many wonderful things to help people. Some people didn’t like him and argued with him, but they couldn’t beat him because he had the wisdom and spirit of God with him.
But some people made up lies about Stephen and said that he had been disrespectful to God and Moses. They told more people and eventually a group of important people, called the council, got involved. They accused Stephen of saying that Jesus of Nazareth would destroy the holy place and change the customs that Moses had given them.
The council looked at Stephen and saw that he had a face like an angel. The high priest asked Stephen if what they said was true, and Stephen said:
“Listen to me, brothers and fathers. Our God appeared to our father Abraham and told him to leave his home and family and go to a new land that God would show him. Abraham obeyed, and even though he didn’t have any children, God promised him that his family would become very large and live in that land. Abraham’s family grew, but they were slaves in Egypt for many years until God sent Moses to rescue them. Moses was a great leader who did many miracles and showed the people how to follow God.”
Stephen then talked about Abraham’s grandson, Joseph, was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, but God helped him become a ruler in Egypt. Later, there was a famine, and Joseph’s family went to Egypt to find food. They were able to stay there and make a new home.
But after many years, a new king came to power who didn’t like the Israelites. He made their lives very hard, so God sent Moses to rescue them. Moses talked to God in a burning bush, and then went to Egypt and did many amazing things to show that God was with him.
But then, the people of Israel didn’t always obey God and sometimes worshiped idols. He also reminded them that they had killed many prophets who had tried to tell them the truth.
The people listening to Stephen were very angry, and they started grinding their teeth at him. But Stephen looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at His right hand. Stephen said, “I see heaven open and Jesus standing next to God.”
The people covered their ears so they couldn’t hear Stephen and they rushed at him. They took him outside the city and stoned him to death. As they were throwing stones at Stephen, he prayed and said, “Lord Jesus, please take my spirit.” Then he fell down on his knees and prayed again, “Lord, don’t blame them for what they’re doing.” And then he died.
- Following Jesus and sharing the gospel can sometimes lead to persecution and suffering, but we should not be discouraged or give up.
- It’s important to stand up for what is right, even if it means going against popular opinion or risking harm.
- God is always with us, even in the midst of trials and difficulties.
- Forgiveness is a powerful act of love and can bring healing and reconciliation, even in the most difficult circumstances.
- Even in the face of persecution, we can still trust in God and pray for those who harm us.
Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch