Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Tuesday - Acts 26 - Paul before Agrippa



F all we knew about Paul was what we read in the Acts of the Apostles, then this chapter would perhaps be the climax of his life & ministry. What a marvelous testimony for Christ Paul shared on this day in Agrippa's presence. Of course, we have many of Paul's letters. As such, although we are almost through with the book of Acts, the bulk of the information which we possess, concerning Paul lies ahead of us in our study of the whole Bible. Still, this sermon is something special.


In this oration, Paul makes much of the resurrection. The Jews had originally reacted to Paul's ministry among the uncircumcised. However, once Paul stood before the Sanhedrin, he brought up the resurrection & was immediately in peril again. Beyond that, obviously if Christ had never been raised from the dead, then Paul's conversion & ministry wouldn’t have occurred.  It was the resurrected Christ who spoke to Paul on the road to Damascus, & who then commissioned him to bear the good news of salvation to the whole world. Everything hinges on the empty tomb.


The other thing that is particularly noteworthy in Paul's speech is the constant reminder that Jesus was the Savior of both the circumcised & the uncircumcised. This was, after all, the original dispute which led Paul into chains. It is fitting that Paul addressed it. First off, Paul was very careful; extremely careful to give respect to the Jewish people. He reviewed his own deep heritage as a devout Jew, but beyond that, he gave a lot of credit to his people (Acts 26:6-7). But, even in his pointed & purposeful presentation of his own conversion, Paul included both the Jews & the Gentiles in his little list of enemies and targets (Acts 26:17).

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