Acts 7:1-43

Talks for Growing Christians

Stephen’s Testimony before the Jewish Council

Acts 7:1-43

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Lesson Number 12

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Israel’s rejection of Joseph foreshadowed Israel’s rejection of Christ.
  2. Israel’s rejection of Moses foreshadowed Israel’s rejection of Christ.

Practical Application

  1. Trust God to use your rejection as a testimony.


  1. Why were so many Jewish priests becoming Christians?
  2. What was the Sanhedrin?
  3. Describe the major theme of Stephen’s sermon to the Sanhedrin.
  4. What parallel did Stephen draw between Joseph and Christ?
  5. How did Stephen draw a parallel between Moses and Christ?


  1. They knew the truth of the resurrection of Christ. They knew that there was no natural explanation for the empty tomb. They knew that the story of the disciples stealing the body was made up. And they knew about the veil in the temple being ripped in two.
  2. The Sanhedrin was the ruling council of the Jews.
  3. Stephen recounted Israel’s mistreatment of God’s messengers, including Joseph and Moses. He was drawing a parallel between Israel’s past rejection of these messengers and Israel’s present rejection of Christ, God’s greatest Messenger.
  4. Just as Joseph was rejected by his own brothers, so Christ was rejected by His own people.
  5. He quoted the messianic prophecy of Deuteronomy 18:15.


  1. Can you imagine being arrested like Stephen and taken before a council and having the presence of mind to preach a powerful sermon such as this? Stephen obviously has a comprehensive understanding of God’s word and His work throughout history. Could you summarize God’s plan of redemption, given the opportunity?
  2. Discuss the numerous ways in which Joseph is a great type, or spiritual picture, of Christ.


  1. Moses never knew that Stephen would use his rejection by the Israelites to argue with the Sanhedrin 1500 years later. But God knew! Likewise, we may not understand how God is going to use our disappointments and rejections in His overall good plan. Remember that your response to disappointment, rejection, and adversity can be a powerful testimony to others.

Key Verses

  • “And he said, ‘Brethren and fathers, listen: The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia.’” Acts 7:2
  • “But when the time of the promise drew near which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt.” Acts 7:17
  • “This is that Moses who said to the children of Israel, ‘The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear.’” Acts 7:37

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