and gazing at him, all who sat in the council saw that his face was like the face of an angel. [acts 6:15]
what does the face of an angel look like?
although we can’t say definitively, we certainly have a good idea. throughout scripture we are given some clues as to the appearance of angels based on accounts from those who encountered them. it is noteworthy that angels generally instructed those who interacted with them to ‘not be afraid’. this alone tells us that angels are powerful and intimidating beings, displaying the glory of God. this comes into conflict what our modern concept of angels as cute, friendly, and generally not something to be afraid of.
stephen, facing certain retribution, reflected the power and wisdom of God. he was filled with the Spirit to the point that even his face reflected it. this was not a new characteristic for stephen. earlier in this chapter, we read that stephen was “known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom” (acts 6:3), “full of God’s grace and power”, and that he “performed great wonders and signs among the people” (acts 6:8). there can be little doubt that this angelic element within him is what was on full display to those observing.
stephen had the face of an angel because he was overflowing with the power of the Holy Spirit.
the council gazed at this man, and in his very countenance they saw the power of God. they saw power, courage, and boldness to speak the gospel of Christ to anyone who would listen. They saw a man they could imprison, persecute, and even kill, but they understood that the power at work within him was unstoppable. stephen knew full well the consequence of speaking the truth of Jesus, but he was not persuaded. he was empowered.
~ jason soroski