Acts 26 v 1 - 31

This long passage gives us Paul's testimony concerning his life and conversion. There are other examples throughout his letters and we have Luke's words earlier in this book. Isn't it interesting that one of the common threads in all the great characters in the New Testament and most of them in the Old is there willingness to confess what they had once been! On trial for his life, Paul openly tells King Agrippa that he once had tried to eliminate Christians. Jesus Christ transformed him from hater to lover. The witness of Paul in that court was not to someone who had lived and died as some great hero of the past, but of someone still gloriously alive. He had begun that journey to Damascus as an Apostle of the Sanhedrin; he had completed it as an Apostle of Jesus. We can feel the urgency of Paul's mission to destroy Christians and we can see by the fact that he continued to journey through the midday heat. In KJV Jesus famously tells Paul that 'it is hard for him to kick against the pricks', which meant that Paul was acting like a young ox which tries to kick its way out of being yoked: it learned submission through their being a nearby spike on the implement which it dug into whenever it kicked, so learning obedience. Jesus Christ then: 1. Opens the eyes of people 2. Turns them from darkness to light. 3. Transfers them from the realm of Satan to the Kingdom of God. 4. Forgives their sin and makes them holy. In turn, Paul preached: 1. For all to repent. Literally, 'change your mind'. 2. Turn to God. 3. Do things to match your words of repentance. We can see from the closing verses of this chapter that Paul is the dominant figure. He may be in chains, he may be on trial for his life, he may be standing in front of men who had the power of life and death, but Paul had a power in him which raised him head and shoulders above all others, wherever he was. King Agrippa, listening to Paul, is more on trial than Paul is!

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