Then they secretly persuaded some men to say, “We have heard Stephen speak blasphemous words against Moses and against God.”- Acts 6:11
Stephen is the first Christian martyr we see in the New Testament. He was falsely accused of blasphemy against God—and against Moses. That the charges were false is bad enough. But that Moses is the object of alleged blasphemy is even more instructive.
In Exodus 40, Moses is setting up the tabernacle. Repeatedly, we are told that he acted “as the Lord has commanded.” Moses was a faithful servant, but that was all.
The Jewish people at this time had elevated Moses to a divine level, making him an object of blasphemy alongside God. Yet Jesus, God in the flesh, was killed by the same people who had elevated Moses. Moses was only a servant, but Jesus was the Son (Hebrews 3:5-6).
How often do we elevate people, practices, and positions to divine status? We do it with the best of intentions. Whether political ideologies, or ecclesial positions, or life’s pursuits—we often elevate earthly things to a divine level, and justify ourselves in doing so.
But allegiance to Jesus leaves us no room for other allegiances. When we elevate the earthly, we run the risk of killing the Son and worshipping the servant.
Lord, keep me free from idolatry and allegiances to things of this earth. Fix my eyes and heart fully on you.