A violent end of life is always dramatic.
- I see something you don’t see.
- Look, you see it, too.
- We can’t or won’t.
- If you won’t stop poking us, we’ll stone you.
- Stoning is hard work, don’t get your robe dirty.
- I still see something you don’t.
- Perhaps one day you will join me rather than discard me.
And so the ministry of Jesus followers in Jerusalem begins to close. What opens is the experience Saul had of the lynching of Stephen. This experience of pre-emptive forgiveness echoes in Saul and readies him for conversion - that which he was adverse to, becomes dear. Now Saul become Paul has two dear ones - his previous Jewish family and his subsequent Gentile family. Paul moves back and forth between these loves doing his best to live as forgiven of Stephen’s death. Paul’s emphasis on Grace continues to crack the Law Code.