Acts 8:1-4 :
Saul was consenting to his death. A great persecution arose against the assembly which was in Jerusalem in that day. They were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except for the apostles. Devout men buried Stephen, and lamented greatly over him. But Saul ravaged the assembly, entering into every house, and dragged both men and women off to prison. Therefore those who were scattered abroad went around preaching the word.
Here we find out that not only was Saul present at the stoning of Stephen, he consented to his death, and that Stephen’s death marked the end of peace for the church there in Jerusalem.
I think it is good for us to pay close attention to how the church reacted. They didn’t blame Stephen for making the leaders mad and causing trouble. Why is it that some people who claim to be Christians do that today when believers stand up against evil?
Instead, these Christians “lamented greatly over him.” People really loved Stephen. What a wonderful thing to come out of sin and into the light of Jesus Christ and end your life surrounded by those who love you so dearly. That is what God’s love can do to a sinner, and God was not finished with Saul either.
Saul, believing that he, by his great efforts for God, could “ravage the assembly” and drag people to prison and save the world for Judaism, ended up spreading the message of Jesus Christ “abroad” through the message of those who were “scattered.” Notice that they “went around preaching the word.” How important it is for us to continue the preaching of the word of God everywhere we go. Without the word, the light of truth in the world grows very dim. When the word is spread, the light shines all over.