New Testament Stories My Daddy Told Me
PAUL AND AGRIPPA (Acts 26:1-32)
By Wayne S. Walker
After Paul was arrested in Jerusalem and transferred to Caesarea, he was tried before Governor Felix but left in prison for two years until Porcius Festus was appointed governor. When he had heard Paul’s case, Festus mentioned it to King Agrippa who wanted to hear Paul too. So the apostle was brought before Agrippa and his wife Bernice. When the King gave him permission to speak, Paul talked about his past life as a strict Pharisee, saying, “Indeed, I myself thought I must do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth” all around Jerusalem, even to the point of casting his vote to put disciples of Christ to death. Then Paul recounted his experience on the road to Damascus. He saw a great light and heard a voice saying in Hebrew, “Why are you persecuting Me?”
So Paul asked who it was, and the voice said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.” The Lord then told him that he was being chosen as a minister of the gospel to both Jews and Gentiles, to open their eyes and enable them to be sanctified by faith in Him. Paul said that he was not disobedient to the heavenly vision but began to preach, first in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and the region of Judea, and finally to the Gentiles, that Jesus is the Christ or Messiah who fulfilled all the prophecies of the Law. Upon hearing this, Festus cried out with a loud voice, “Paul, you are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you mad!” But Paul responded that he was speaking words of truth and reason.
Then Paul spoke to Agrippa. “King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you do believe.” The King replied, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.” Scholars are divided over whether this was a sincere statement or a sarcastic question. Various versions read differently. In any event, Paul said, “I would to God that not only you, but also all who hear me today, might become both almost and altogether such as I am, except for these chains.” At this point, Agrippa and Bernice got up to leave. Those with them talked among themselves and said that Paul had done nothing worthy of death or even chains. In fact, Agrippa told Festus that Paul might have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.
- What king wanted to hear Paul?
- What was the name of the king’s wife?
- Of which sect had Paul been a member?
- On the road to Damascus, what did Paul see?
- What did he hear?
- Who was speaking to him?
- Where did Paul first begin preaching?
- How did Festus react to what Paul said?
- What did Paul ask Agrippa?
- How did Agrippa respond to Paul’s question?