Stephen gives a wonderful history less to people who probably knew it better than him. So why did he do it. One reason would be to show the legacy of the people of God missing what God was doing in their midst. As long as people have followed God, we have often been disobedient. Stephen is highlighting the years of disobedience, and shows the religious leaders he was speaking to were continuing the tradition. What great boldness was found in Stephen as he levied the charges against the religious leaders there to bring charges against him.
Finally it is too much and the religious leaders drag Stephen out of the city and stone him to death. Willing to see following Jesus through to death, Stephen became known as the first martyr of the church. It wasn't just name calling, it wasn't just they did not like him anymore, Stephen was killed because of his devotion to following Jesus. We tend to shy away if someone doesn't like what we are saying. We have entered the world of political correctness, and we do not want to offend someone so we remain silent. I wonder what would have happened if Stephen would have been politically correct? What about Paul or Peter? What about Jesus?
All these followers or Christ, and many more, were killed because they would not be politically correct and followed with all their hearts. Still with these witnesses and the teachings of Scripture, we repeat the cycle. You would think we would get it after a while. One might think looking back over the centuries we today might understand how God is at work. Yet so often we miss it. Whether it is political correctness, our own desire, or our out right disobedience, we seem to not get it.
Help us Lord. May t his be a generation of people who Stand for you like Stephen.