My friend, Josh, wrote this to me in response to our New Testament Bible read through. I thought it was insightful.
Then they persuaded some men to say, "We heard him speaking blasphemous words against Moses and God!"
Isn't this like us all? If we are bested, we are persuaded to do something that tears that person down. No one could dispute with Stephen and the wisdom that was given to him, and their response is to tear him down.
When we find our identity in some title rather than Jesus, we are lacking and find the need to hurt those that have "stolen" our identity. The pharisees were the knowledgable ones of the law, it was their life. Stephen is owning them in disputes. They couldn't take it, so they take him to court to have some false witnesses.
When we identify ourselves and find our identity in being the best at something, we are easily threatened by those who best us.
So we can either change our identity by conforming the way we see ourselves with the reality that we aren't the GOAT (greatest of all time) OR we can tear down the other person in attempt to best them and reinstate ourselves as the GOAT!
It's like a status-driven version of King of the Mountain. Everyone's trying to knock you down so that they can be king.