September 9, 2021 - Acts 26:1-32
Solomon was given wisdom by the Lord and this gift was used to instruct and assist mankind with his writing of Proverbs. Through his short instructions, we are taught truths that equip us to stand confidently before men and assemblies. Solomon’s statement in Proverbs 15:2, “The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly…” is certainly beneficial to remember in our world today.
Here in Acts, we see Paul was given permission by King Agrippa to speak and to explain his charges and imprisonment to the king. Paul must choose his words with precision as Agrippa is knowledgeable and well acquainted with the Jewish people and culture. His understanding came from an ancestry which included King Herod (Grandfather), the king who feared Christ’s birth, Herod Antipas, the murderer of John the Baptist and present when Christ was crucified, and finally Herod Agrippa I who had James executed and Peter imprisoned. His lineage was woven closely to the early Christian story, and he was very familiar with many of the key characters of this movement.
Paul’s usage of his testimony is a masterful defense strategy that allows him to tie the gospel with his imprisonment. He begins with a short history of his pre-conversion life as a Jewish leader, moves quickly to his conversion experience at Damascus and the Lord’s command to be a minister for Him going forward. Finally, Paul states his post-conversion lifestyle and ministry that led to his arrest and imprisonment.
Festus, the governor, after listening to this testimony, exclaims Paul’s madness but is silenced by Paul’s statement that all this is factual and known to Agrippa (vv.25-26). Agrippa is almost persuaded to become a follower of Christ as Paul speaks but instead adjourns the discussion.
Paul’s words stir the hearts of the listeners, and all walk away, it appears, considering his words. Proverbs again offers a valuable reminder to us regarding our words, “And the ear of the wise seeks knowledge. A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men” (18:15-16). Whether it is Paul or one of us, we can use our opportunities to tell the story of Christ and what He has done for us. People will provide moments to share our faith if we are sensitive and prepared. Write out a two-minute testimony following Paul’s method of how your life was before Christ, how you came to know Christ and how it affects your life in the present. Practice it with someone that you are comfortable with before sharing it in public. You never know when you will have the opportunity to present Jesus to someone.