“But some men from what was called the Synagogue of the Freedmen, including both Cyrenians and Alexandrians, and some from Cilicia and Asia, rose up and argued with Stephen. But they were unable to cope with the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking” (Acts 6:9-10).
Admittedly, it’s difficult to hope for the best for those who actively oppose our faith. But out of our fiercest opponents may come our greatest allies. Luke mentions “some from Cilicia” among the opposition. It can hardly be coincidental that the person most like Stephen in the book of Acts, and one who is present at the stoning of Stephen, also comes from Cilicia! Let us not give up hope for those who want to shut us up. For we never know who will see Jesus reflected in our faces (Acts 6:15; 7:55) and choose to follow him as well.
“I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city, educated under Gamaliel, strictly according to the law of our fathers, being zealous for God just as you all are today. I persecuted this Way to the death” (Acts 22:3-4; see 21:39).