· Continuing from chapter 25, King Agrippa says Paul may present his case
· Paul gives Agrippa due respect and is encouraged that Agrippa knows Jewish law and customs
· Paul says that he has lived his life as a strict Jew and Pharisee, as others have seen (this most likely continued after his coming to faith in Jesus as well)
· He says that he is on trial because of his belief in the hope that the fathers of the Hebrew scriptures wrote of
· It in fact is the hope that the twelve tribes wanted to see revealed
· The central issue is God raising the dead
· He shares his testimony how he opposed the name of Jesus of Nazareth and those who followed him, and even gave his vote on some of the followers being killed (even beyond the Jerusalem borders)
· Paul admits trying to get them to blaspheme (most likely meaning to deny Jesus and the resurrection)
· Then Paul shares his encounter with Jesus on the way to Damascus
· Jesus charged Paul with:
o Being a servant
o Being a witness for Jesus
o To open the eyes of both Jews and Gentiles
o To turn them from darkness to light
o To turn them from Satan’s power to God’s power
o To guide them to the forgiveness of sins
o And guide them to sanctification which comes by faith in Jesus
· Paul declared that he was faithful to the vision by preaching in Damascus, Jerusalem, Judea, and then to the Gentiles
· Paul preached that they should:
o Turn to God
o And prove that they had repented by the good deeds of their life
· Paul declares it was because of going to the Gentiles and declaring this message that he was seized
· Paul is sharing what Moses and the prophets said would happen
o The Messiah (Christ) would suffer
o Would be first to rise from the dead
o And the light would be proclaimed to the Jews first and then to the nations
· Festus then told Paul that he must be going insane from too much knowledge
· Paul insists that it is not only sane, but that the king himself witnessed what was going on.
· Then he asks the king a question “Do you believe the prophets?”
· Agrippa is wondering if Paul is now trying to get him to be a follower of Christ
· Paul responds that except for the chains he wishes the king were like him – knowing Jesus
· At this the king leaves and the trial is over
· King Agrippa tells Festus that his judgment was that Paul has done nothing wrong that deserves death and that he should be let go
· He can’t be freed though because he appealed to Caesar and only he now can release Paul.
· Even though we have many freedoms in Christ, we may choose to live without some of those freedoms so that we might have a platform to share the message of Jesus with others.
· It is important that we can share our story and our personal encounter with Jesus
· The good news is not just about forgiveness and turning to God, but a changed life that reflects that commitment
· The good news should reflect God’s plan from the very beginning. It doesn’t just start with Jesus.
· The resurrection continues to be the main point in sharing the good news
· I need to be able to share my personal story and the good news with whoever God gives me the opportunity to do so.
Thank you for the Messiah. Thank you for loving me so much that you poured out your wrath, that was due me, on to the son whom you loved. Thank you that as Jesus rose, I too will rise someday to be reunited with you. God help me get a grasp on both my story and your good news, and then open my eyes to opportunities to share them. Give me courage, Lord, to speak boldly to whoever comes across my path that needs to hear about you. Loose the tongues of your church, empower us with the Spirit that resides in us, and compel us to share about Jesus’ suffering, resurrection, and life with the thousands of people who desperately need you.
In Jesus name I pray, AMEN
Posted on Wed, March 11, 2015
by Joel King