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Stephen The First Martyr (Acts 6, & 7)- The Parable of the Vinedressers (Matthew 21:33-44)

Summary:

Jared discussed Stephen, the first martyr from the Book of Acts. The debate covered Stephen's life, death, and the significance of his actions. The conversation also touched on Matthew and Luke's parable of the divine dressers. Jared highlighted the symbolism of the vineyard representing God's people and the vine dressers as the Jewish leaders. He concluded the session by announcing his plans to continue studying Acts until the New Year and possibly starting the Book of Revelation.


Stephen's Life and Death in Acts and Matthew

Jared discussed Stephen, the first martyr from the Book of Acts. The readings, primarily from Acts chapters 6 and 7, explored Stephen's life and death. The session closed with a reading from Matthew chapter 21 about the parable of the vinedressers, with a parallel account from Luke chapter 20 also being discussed. Jared began the session with a prayer, inviting the Lord to enlighten their understanding of their teachings.


St. Stephen's Life and Acts Study Announced:

Jared led a discussion about St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr. They highlighted St. Stephen's Jewish background, his role as one of the seven deacons established by the apostles in Jerusalem, and his faith-filled and miraculous life. They concluded the discussion by announcing the start of a study on the Acts of the Apostles, explicitly focusing on St. Stephen's life and actions.


Jesus's Teachings and Jewish Rebellion Explained:

Jared explained that the charges were related to Christ's transformation of Jewish law and customs, with a specific mention of the prophecy about the destruction of the Jerusalem temple. Jared clarified that these were misinterpretations of Jesus's teachings, referring to the destruction of the physical temple and His (Christ's) Resurrection. Jared also provided context about the Jewish rebellion against Rome and its consequences, including the temple's destruction.


Stephen's Glory and Martyrdom in Acts 7:

Jared led a discussion on Acts 7, focusing on Stephen's story. They emphasized that Stephen's face shone like an angel, a sign of the glory believers will share someday. They further discussed the significance of the account of Stephen's speech before the high priest, noting that Stephen did not directly answer the high priest but used the charges as a basis for his preaching. They then transitioned to discussing Stephen's martyrdom and his final moments, when he prayed for the forgiveness of his enemies. The conversation concluded with briefly mentioning Saul, who would later become Paul, as a witness to Stephen's stoning.


Parable of the Wicked Vine Dressers:

Jared discussed a parable about a landowner who planted a vineyard and leased it to vinedressers. The vine dressers treated the landowner's servants poorly, beating, killing, and stoning them. The landowner then sent their son, hoping they would respect them, but the vine dressers killed them as well. Jared concluded that the owner would come and destroy the vinedressers. The discussion ended with Jared reading a passage from Luke's account of the parable.


Bible Study Session: Parables and Plans:

Jared led a Bible study session, focusing on the parables of Matthew and Luke. They explained the symbolism of the vineyard as representing God's people, with the vine dressers being the Jewish leaders entrusted to care for them. They also discussed the Two Sons parable, interpreting it as a lesson on repentance. Towards the end, they mentioned their plans to continue studying Acts until the New Year and possibly start the Book of Revelation.


In Christ, love Jared W. Campbell






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