We are introduced to Stephen in Acts 6 – a Godly man later martyrd for his commitment to Christ. Stephen is being faithful to serve in ministry as the church is just getting started, and he is also a powerful WITNESS (Acts 1:8).
When the members of local Jewish synagogues found out how Stephen was being used among the people – verse 9 says “opposition arose”. Since they could not match Stephen’s wisdom (from God) as they argued against him – they secretly persuaded some other men to LIE about Stephen and the work he was doing. Many times the ring-leaders will try to keep their image clean by secretly getting others to do the dirty work.
It’s interesting to me that the same phenomenon continues to take place today. Religious people who often think they’re “helping God” or doing the right thing will even violate the Scripture they say they hold dear because they’re threatened by someone or some other church that is being used by God.
These Jews had been taught the 10 Commandments since birth, which includes a command to never bear false witness against your neighbor. Maybe these Jews soothed their conscience because they didn’t lie directly, but got someone else to do it for them.
Don’t be surprised; if you’re going to be used greatly by God you can expect opposition, and sadly it will often come from those who are religious. It will always cost you to follow Christ – but it’s always worth it!