Perhaps there is nothing in this world more unique and unexpected than someone who chooses to love the people that mistreat them and who chooses to pray for those who hurt them the most. The world can hardly comprehend such love because it seems so irrational and unreasonable. It goes completely against our natural instincts and our natural inclinations.
I can hardly comprehend the level of love that it takes to pray for your enemies while you are suffering a brutal death at the hands of those same enemies. The way in which Stephen handles himself during his violent and unjust execution is awe-inspiring and on a whole nother level.
Paul’s life had been completely transformed by Jesus. His worldview and the trajectory of his life was completely changed by Jesus. And Paul understood that the only way to respond to what Jesus had done for him is to become like Jesus — to imitate Jesus.
Three times in the last three chapters (8-10) of Mark's account Jesus teaches His followers about His impending suffering, and all three times His followers seem to be too concerned about their own status to even notice what He's saying. They were expecting Christ to establish an earthly kingdom, and therefore they were expecting great privileges as the appointed disciples of the soon-to-be King.