Agrippa said to Paul, "You are permitted to speak for yourself." Then Paul stretched out his hand and proceeded to make his defense: "In regard to all the things of which I am accused by the Jews, I consider myself fortunate, King Agrippa, that I am about to make my defense before you today; especially because you are an expert in all customs and questions among the Jews; therefore I beg you to listen to me patiently. "So then, all Jews know my manner of life from my youth up, which from the beginning was spent among my own nation and at Jerusalem; since they have known about me for a long time, if they are willing to testify, that I lived as a Pharisee according to the strictest sect of our religion. And now I am standing trial for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers; the promise to which our twelve tribes hope to attain, as they earnestly serve God night and day. And for this hope, O King, I am being accused by Jews. Why is it considered incredible among you people if God does raise the dead?
(Acts 26:1-8 NASB)
Paul speaks to king Agrippa in front of the gathering. He begins by acknowledging the fact that Agrippa was someone who knew well the Jewish customs. This he said, hoping to properly present the facts before someone who would be able to verify his proclamations as authentic. This entire chapter is given to the testimony Paul gives before them. From A to Z Paul recounts his life as a Pharisee, when he persecuted the faith he now professes, to his conversion to Jesus on his way to Damascus. He didn't compromise the truth and he was unashamed. He spoke freely and boldly. He knew this opportunity to share the gospel with this gathering would only be given once. Knowing the consequences of his testimony, he spoke without a flinch. Festus, the Governor, must have been hit by the truth and convicted by the Holy Spirit. He burst out with the response "You are out of your mind! Your great learning is driving you mad!" (See Acts 26:24). I have heard that when you throw a rock in a pack of dogs, the one that the rock hits is the one that yelps. Festus yelped! King Agrippa chimed in with "In a short time you will persuade me to become a Christian!" (See Acts 26:28). Paul responded to them saying he desired that everyone listening would come to know Jesus as their Lord! (See Acts 26:29).
When we are called upon to share our faith, no matter where we are, or who is listening, let us be truthful and faithful. Some will hear us, others will reject. Regardless of results, let's be found standing true and strong. Leave the results to God! God wants us to be respectful and submissive to authority, yet we must never shy away from the truth of the gospel.
Lord Jesus, may we be found faithful to Your name! You are our everything!!! The audience we seek to please is You!
Rev. Curtis Norris