Stiff-necked people

Stiff-Necked People
Acts 7:44-50 Tabernacle

Acts 7:51-56 Stiff-Necked

Acts 7:57-60 Stephen Stoned
ACTS 7:51  51You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you.

What is "stiff-necked" (Acts 7:51)?
Prideful, haughty, stuck-up, stubborn. This term was familiar to the audience, who were well versed in the Old Testament: And the LORD said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and indeed it is a stiff-necked people!" (Exodus 32:9); For the LORD had said to Moses, “Say to the children of Israel, ‘You are a stiff-necked people. I could come up into your midst in one moment and consume you..." (Exodus 33:5); "Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be stiff-necked no longer" (Deuteronomy 10:16).

ACTS 7:52-53  52 “Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers, 53 who have received the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it."

Is it true that the Jews persecuted the prophets?
Throughout the Old Testament, God used prophets to correct and admonish Israel when the people sinned against God. But the people didn't want to listen and kept persecuting the prophets. Even Jesus said, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!" (Matthew 23:37)

Whom else is Stephen saying they betrayed and murdered?
Jesus - the "Just One" - who had been foretold by the prophets. This is the climax of Stephen's sermon. After tearing into their idolatry of Moses, their laws, their ancestry, their land, and their temple, Stephen concludes by pointing out that the only one who deserved their worship - Jesus Christ, the Just One - was the one they betrayed and killed. Calling members of the revered Sanhedrin, "uncircumcised" in any shape or form was a stinging rebuke. The longest sermon given by a disciple of Christ in the New Testament is also arguably its hardest hitting, and the vessel wasn't even one of the twelve apostles.

ACTS 7:54-56  54 When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth. 55 But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, 56 and said, "Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!"

How did the Sanhedrin's react?
They were so incensed that "they gnashed at him with their teeth" (Acts 7:54).

Who is the "Son of Man" (Acts 7:56)?
It's Jesus (see Son of Man).

How did Jesus' react?
The Lord was so pleased with Stephen that He opened up heaven to let Stephen see Him in His glory, and to promote him to heaven right then and there.