The early followers of Jesus Christ will bury their first martyr, Stephen. They are distraught. A death sentence, even though illegitimate, is a real possibility. What will happen to the Church now? The growing congregation of disciples scatters to avoid increasing persecution. As a result, the Gospel begins to spread beyond Jerusalem, just as Jesus described. (Acts 1.8) God’s plan would not be derailed!
Like Stephen, Philip demonstrates himself a faithful witness. He becomes the second example of a yielded servant in the hands of the Holy Spirit. Beyond the boundaries of Jerusalem, a different form of opposition surfaces that could stall the expansion of the Church, and Luke contrasts confessions of faith on which to build her.