January 11, 2024

The Face of an Angel

Written by Tripp Prince

Freedom in Christ frees us from the opinions of men.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 11, 2024

They produced false witnesses, who testified, “This fellow never stops speaking against this holy place and against the law. For we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs Moses handed down to us. All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel. Acts 6:13-15, NIV

Like Martha in Luke 10, humans are often worried about many things. Our anxieties are often carried in the quiet recesses of our hearts, unseen by others and known only to ourselves. However, we may also, at times, find ourselves in more public and external tension or conflict, worried about a relationship at home, church, or work. Due to our frailty and brokenness as human beings, we can find ourselves at odds with another, lashing out toward them in anger, or seeking to discredit their position or achievements in order to advance our own cause. On the other hand, we may find ourselves the recipients of such animosity and vitriol, having to withstand wave after wave of persecution. 

I have this final point on my mind today as I reflect upon the stoning of Stephen in Acts 6. Here, Stephen must endure explicit lies being told about him by “false witnesses,” saying he, as a follower of Jesus, sought to tear down the traditions handed down to the Jewish people by Moses. Undoubtedly, this is about as serious of an accusation as one could make! And when faced with the penalty of stoning, one wouldn’t have faulted Stephen for having a look of bewilderment, anger, and even rage across his face. Yet what are we told? When the crowd looked at him, “they saw that his face was like the face of an angel” (v. 15). 

An angelic disposition in the face of injustice is only possible when one’s identity is found in the abiding presence of Christ. Freedom in Christ frees us from the opinions of men. A lived encounter of the love of Christ secures us in his kingdom and frees us from any earthly fear, even the fear of death. 

Today, let us look to the saintly example of Stephen and ask the Lord to give us this kind of abiding peace and freedom. And when we encounter the brokenness of humanity, either within ourselves or within others, let us return to the feet of the Master, finding there the very life of heaven that can transform even life’s darkest moments.


Father, like Stephen, may we be flooded with the angelic life of your kingdom, no matter what we face, we pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Take time today to read the full story of Stephen’s witness to Christ and martyrdom, as contained in Acts 6 and 7.

Related Reading

Psalm 27:1; Luke 10:41-42; 1 Peter 5:7

Worship Resource

Andrew Peterson: Be Kind to Yourself


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