Acts 7:59 While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”

When I first heard Bob Dylan’s song “Rainy Day Woman # 12 & 35,” I thought the line about “everybody must get stoned” was a reference to smoking marijuana. A closer reading of the lyrics reveals this song is filled with Old and New Testament allusions. In this phrase, Dylan is referencing the biblical practice of stoning to make a point about how often the world treats us poorly even “when you’re trying to be so good.”

Jesus, Peter, Paul, and the rest of the voices in the New Testament remind us over and over that as we bear the gospel into the world, we should expect to be treated poorly. As followers of Christ, it’s all but guaranteed the world will find a way to kill us too.

MOVING FORWARD: How have modern pieces of music or art helped you understand the gospel in new ways?