The apostle had been a prisoner at Cæsarea for over two years, held by Roman authorities under charges by Jewish leaders that he caused dissension among the Jews through false teaching that encouraged people to disobey the law, and rebel against Jewish leadership. The apostle was also accused of being the leader of the Nazarenes, a religion not authorized by Roman law.
In his defense, Paul continues his address to a dignified audience, including King Agrippa, his sister Bernice, lictors, Cæsarean leaders, and Roman men of arms. First, he shares that he was born a Jew raised under the law, became a zealous Pharisee who persecuted Christians until the day he came in the presence of the Lord, when he found out about his divinely appointed mission to preach and advance the gospel to both Jews and Gentiles.
“19 Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, 20 but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance.” (Acts 26:19-20)
Paul testifies how he kept true to the promise delivered by Moses and the prophets, that Heaven was a real place where God awaited those who placed their hope in Him. The apostle continues his defense by citing how he responded positively to his encounter with the Christ by leading seekers to repentance, and furthering the kingdom of God.
“21 For these reasons the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me.” (Acts 26:21)
Here, Paul makes reference to the day he was captured by a mob of Jews who plotted to kill him, however by the grace of God, the apostle’s life was spared to this day, so he could fulfill his mission to preach to the lost and encourage those in Christ, and teach all those who listened that by faith in the Savior, death would lose its sting and hell surrender its victory.
“22 Therefore, having obtained help from God, to this day I stand, witnessing both to small and great, saying no other things than those which the prophets and Moses said would come— 23 that the Christ would suffer, that He would be the first to rise from the dead, and would proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.” (Acts 26:22-23)
To reinforce his point, Paul describes that his teaching was indeed in tune with that of the patriarch Moses and the well known Jewish prophets who foretold of the coming of the Messiah, who would, as they taught, suffer and be put to death, then by the will of God be resurrected from the dead to seal the covenant made between the heavenly Father and man.
In rising from the dead, Jesus brought fulfillment to prophecy, shedding light onto those living in darkness, spreading hope to the hopeless. Paul knew his mission was divinely appointed, and his testimony reflected his conviction. Let’s pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Luke,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre