This is the third of Paul’s trials in Acts, his third testimony and it is a three pointer again!
Agrippa, Bernice and Festus arrive to hear Paul in pomp and ceremony, wearing purple robes. Paul is apparently small, balding with a hooked nose and bandy legs! But he dominates proceedings with Spirit filled Christ-like dignity and confidence.
This trial is before yet another of the awful Herod dynasty:
- Herod the Great tried to kill the infant Jesus
- Antipas beheaded John the Baptist
- Agrippa I killed James
- Agrippa II is the current judge.
Three Points – every good testimony has 3 points – the before, the during and the now:
The before – Paul started out as a devoted Pharisee, v.2-11, (hooking in Agrippa by his familiarity with Jewish customs – always look for an interest hook!). He briefly outlines his behaviour as a fanatical persecutor of Christians.
The conversion – v.12-18. In this case Paul tells of his Damascus road experience and the Lord’s call and commission on his life.
The now – Paul details the difference that the Lord has made in him and how he is fulfilling his call and commission. He sinks the hooks deeper into Agrippa by relating the continuity from Judaism – Moses and the prophets foretold Jesus!
Paul is a sent person, an apostle. We are an apostolic people – sent with the good news. You can be sent and stay and you can be sent and go – you just need to live as if you have been sent, because you have.
The reaction of Agrippa and Festus is that Paul is out of his mind. He isn’t! And he now confronts them to cross the line of faith. We need to be ready to do that with friends and family – tell our story and ask if they want to become a Christian too.