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This is in the section where Stephen has been brought before the Sanhedrin and is being accused by false witnesses.

His enemies have made up charges against him and persuaded people to make these false accusations.

If you’re going to go to all that trouble, you want to be sure that the man gets convicted at the end of it, so you’re likely to accuse him of the things that strike most deeply at the heart of what those in power hold dear. So what do they say Stephen has done?

They say he claimed that Jesus would destroy ‘this place’ (the Temple) and change their customs.

This seems to suggest they cared more about their building (the seat and symbol of their power) and their traditions than the law and truth of God.

I know the Temple did hold greater significance for Jews than a church building does now, but it seems very much as though what had once been revered as a holy place, the dwelling place of God on earth, was being worshipped in place of the God it was supposed to point to.

And the fact they talked of the customs of Moses rather than his Law suggests that here too they had lost sight of the purpose of what had been handed down to them – they loved the tradition more than the truth it was supposed to point them to.