Acts + Letters Lesson 26 Day 5

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Acts 26:24-32

Paul expressed his desire that all who heard his message would be saved.

12. Festus and Agrippa react to Paul’s testimony.

Festus interrupted Paul when he mentioned resurrection of the dead, saying with a loud voice, “Paul, you are crazy! Your great learning is driving you insane!”

Some translations interpret Agrippa’s response as a question, and some as a statement.

Acts 26:28

WEB translation: “With a little persuasion, are you trying to make me a Christian?”

NIV translation: “Do you think you can persuade me to become a Christian so quickly?”

The NIV also has a footnote:

“Or ‘A little more, and your arguments would make me a Christian.’”

Phillips translation: “Much more of this, Paul,” returned Agrippa, “and you will be making me a Christian!”

Young’s Literal Translation: “In a little thou dost persuade me to become a Christian!”

The literal idea behind almost is “in a little, you seek to persuade me to act a Christian.” The meaning of little could be “in a short time” or it could mean “there is little distance between me and Christianity.” However close Agrippa was to becoming a believer, it wasn’t close enough.1

King Agrippa admitted he believed the prophets and as Acts 25:13 tells us, he knew who Jesus claimed to be.

 Compare King Agrippa’s response with that of Festus. They were both nonbelievers, yet Agrippa showed a sensitivity that reflected the conviction of the Lord in his life. Paul even said that he believed the prophets, referring to the Old Testament scriptures. As mentioned in note 1 at Acts 25:13, Agrippa was well acquainted with who Jesus claimed to be. We can only speculate as to the reasons why Agrippa rejected the Lord when he knew that the things Paul was speaking of were true.2

Although it’s not recorded in scripture, I hope the goodness of God drew some or all of them to repentance before their deaths.

Paul’s response

Both men reacted to Paul’s message. They couldn’t and didn’t ignore it.

By saying, “I wish you were all like me except for these chains,” “Paul declared his continued trust in the gospel of Jesus Christ. He did not retreat from his stand one inch, despite his long imprisonment for the sake of the gospel. With a dramatic gesture, Paul showed that even though he was in chains, he had more freedom in Jesus than any of the royalty listening had.”1

13. Ways people react to and reject the gospel

Some feel the gospel is irrational, illogical, unprovable, outdated, unrealistic, too restrictive, or contradictory.

Any belief system is a crutch or sign of weakness. Humanistic, Greek way of thinking is the predominant mindset in western culture—the belief that humans posses the mental capacity to solve our problems and improve our lives.

14. Paul inspires courage.

Paul wasn’t intimidated in the presence of a governor, a king, and their entourage. He spoke boldly and eloquently.

He called for Agrippa to decide and to make a choice.

God called Paul for such a time and place. His early training and relationships prepared him for his encounters with royalty.

We each have our calling. The key for me is a willingness to do what the Holy Spirit prompts me to do. As I’ve mentioned before, sometimes it’s to write someone a note or an email.

For me, sharing the gospel face to face with boldness requires the Holy Spirit to empower me directly. I’m not naturally bold or articulate, but I have experienced moments of inspiration. I should pray into that, asking for more opportunities and boldness.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.


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Resources

1 EnduringWord.com
2 AWM Living Commentary

Unless noted, all Scripture from public domain WEB translation.

My answers, research, and notes for BSF Bible Study Fellowship questions Acts and Letters of the Apostles Lesson 26 Day 5

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