But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed steadily into heaven and saw the glory of God, and he saw Jesus standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 56 And he told them, “Look, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand!” Acts 7:55-55
"Who is Steven?" you ask. Steven was one of seven men chosen early on in acts who appointed to serve the needs of the church in practical ways. He appears on the scene in the chapter before and he is described as one, "full of faith and of the Holy Spirit." Steven was not one of the twelve apostles, but was an ordinary man, who had an extraordinary faith and trust in Jesus. He was "full of the Spirit" which simply means He was fully surrendered to Jesus and His will. He was also described as someone God moved powerfully through and who performed great miracles in Jesus' name. When the news about him reached the religious leaders they became angry and questioned him. His answer did not make them happy, since he accused them of being enemies of God and even killing His chosen Messiah, Jesus Christ. After he said these things they were filled with rage and approached him to stone and kill him. Just before they grabbed him, he looked up to heaven and saw Jesus standing at the right hand of the Father. This was unusual, since many scriptures record Jesus sitting, not standing, at the right Hand of God. But on this occasion, Jesus stood. Why? I believe Jesus was standing to honor, celebrate, and welcome this faithful follower and friend. Like a good parent who honors and celebrates their child's accomplishments, Jesus longs to honor and celebrate the faithfulness of His children. Know that whatever the circumstances or challenges we face, Jesus is near, watching, helping, and longing to celebrate our faithfulness to Him. Let's live in such a way as to give Jesus something to stand and cheer about! Like Steven, may we allow our ordinary lives to be honored in an extraordinary way, by an extraordinary Savior!