And all that sat in the council, looking steadfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.
I. WHAT WAS IT MEN SAW ON THE FACE OF STEPHEN?
1. Not a supernatural aureola such, as the painters love to depict. But —
2. The transformation of the human by the Divine, according to the natural law which connects spiritual states with corresponding bodily manifestations. The most transient emotions and impulses will betray their presence thus; how much more, therefore, the more constant elements of character and disposition? The changes of expression upon the face are, next to speech, the surest index to that inward world of thought and feeling and will which affects so powerfully our entire outward life.
3. The transmission of the Divine through the human.
(1) In that upward gaze Pharisee and Sadducee were confronted with the reality of a spiritual world.
(2) It served to hold them spellbound until the grand remonstrance had been uttered — as when Bishop Stanley, of Norwich, faced the tumultuous mob at his cathedral door, or Marshman was borne from his sick bed to quell the Birmingham rioters by his gentle presence.
II. THAT OF WHICH THIS TRANSFIGURED FACE WAS THE PROPHECY AND TOKEN. What if it were intended to present the chief end of man to be a minister and interpreter of the Divine? Who more adapted than he, standing as he does between two worlds, and enjoying if he wills the suffrages of both.
(A. F. Muir, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.