READ: Acts 26
- Paul’s commission from Jesus (Acts 9:15-16) was to speak before kings and others in authority. In Acts 26, during Paul’s imprisonment which led him to Rome, he has the opportunity to speak before King Agrippa and Festus, Procurator of Judea. Previously he had spoken before Felix, procurator of Palestine. So Jesus’ intentions for Paul are being carried out. He is influencing people in high places.
- Paul’s speech before Agrippa is quite revealing. In essence, Paul simply gives his personal testimony. He describes his early life and rehearses his Damascus Road experience of encountering the resurrected Christ. Festus’ response is to see Paul as a mad-man. Agrippa, on the other hand, simply sees him as being overly optimistic in his hopes for conversion. Agrippa asks, “Do you really think one speech will convince me?” (my paraphrase).
- The King James Version of Scripture translates the words of Agrippa as, “Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.” It’s the source of the old gospel song of nearly the same name. It’s probably not the best translation and Agrippa probably wasn’t almost persuaded. He was much more resistant to the gospel than that. But, his hesitance didn’t stop Paul from offering all the persuasion his testimony could muster. The hesitant probably don’t need more information; they probably need more evidence of lives changed. That’s what Paul offered.
- Who do you know that simply seems hesitant to respond to the gospel?
- What do you think might be most persuasive to the hesitant?
- Why does more information often not make any difference?
PRAY: Pray for those who know…but wait. Ask God to help your life be a convincing testimony of God’s ability to change lives. Offer your heart of worship to the Father.