“They set up false witnesses who said, ‘This man (Stephen) never stops saying things against this holy place and the law; for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and will change the customs that Moses handed on to us.'”
— Acts 6:13-14
Some people, when they cannot win a debate or overcome “the wisdom and the Spirit” with which the other person speaks, resort to telling lies and misrepresenting the ideas of the other person (Acts 6:10). The first Christian martyr, Stephen, suffered from the intentional deception of some religious leaders, and it cost him his life. The same thing happened to Jesus. When the religious leaders tried Jesus, “many false witnesses came forward” (Matthew 26:60).
Stephen proclaimed the message of Jesus with power (and did so once again before they stoned him to death); therefore, his accusers lied about him and the teachings of the Christian church. Ignoring the fact that Christians continued to worship God in the temple, the accusers said Christians spoke against the temple, saying Jesus would destroy the temple.
However, Jesus spoke of the religious leaders destroying His body when He said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” John explained that when Jesus spoke about destroying “the temple,” He was “speaking of the temple of His body” (John 2:19-21). Three days after Jesus died on the cross, He raised up “the temple,” His body. Jesus did not change the law of Moses, but showed how current religious customs distorted the law of Moses. Jesus taught, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill” (Matthew 5:17).
— L.G. Parkhurst Jr.
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