Stephen’s discourse is framed by the repeated use of a single term. Before his sermon to the Sanhedrin, Luke informs us that the Jews “looked intently” at Stephen, that his face was like that of an angel (see yesterday’s devotional). And after the sermon, it’s the preacher’s turn:
But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked intently toward heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.
Acts 7.55 NET
The Jews looked with hostility at Stephen and, though seeing an angelic face, did not not see the reason in his preaching.
Stephen, on the other hand, looked intently up to heaven. What he saw was God’s glory, for he had glorified God by his courage and dedication in proclaiming the gospel.
And the last thing his saw in this life was, most certainly, the first thing he saw in the Beyond.
Such fixed gazes lead us to ask: At whom are we looking in this way?
Father, may my eyes always be fixed upon Jesus as my guide, example, Lord and Savior. For I desire to see your glory. Amen.
Hold this thought: The eye is the window of the soul, and the sight of Christ illumines it.