“Jesus, A Miracle Worker”/Paul Before Agrippa cont’d

A Christ Filled Life – Getting To Know Jesus

“Paul Before Agrippa” cont’d, Acts 26:1) Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Thou art permitted to speak for thyself.  Then Paul stretched forth the hand, and answered for himself:  2) I think myself happy, king Agrippa, because I shall answer for myself this day before thee touching all the things whereof I am accused of the Jews:  3) Especially because I know thee to be expert (a knower) in all customs and questions which are among the Jews:  wherefore I beseech thee to hear me patiently.  4) My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews;  5) Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.  Galatians 1:13; Philippians 3:5.  6) And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers:  Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 4:2; Malachi 3:1.  7) Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come.  For which hope’s sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews.  James 1:1; Philippians 3:11.  8) Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?  9) I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.  1Timothy 1:13.  10) Which thing I also did in Jerusalem:  and many of the Saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them.  11) And I punished them oft in every Synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities.  12) Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests, 13) At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from Heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me.  14) And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?  it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.  15) And I said, Who art thou, Lord?  And He said, I Am Jesus Whom thou persecutest.  16) But rise, and stand upon thy feet:  for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;  17) Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,  18) To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in Me.  Isaiah 35;5; Ephesians 4:18; Colossians 1:13. 

 Quest Study Bible – v3, Why was Agrippa so well acquainted with Jewish customs?  He served, as his father before him had, as the liaison between the Jewish religious leaders and the Roman government.  He was given authority over the Jewish Temple and as such had the authority of appointing the Jewish high priest.  He would have been familiar with many of the members of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish supreme court.  v5, Why did Paul identify himself so closely with the Jews?  Perhaps for two reasons: (1) Paul might have hoped to find a sympathetic ear in Agrippa, a man who was familiar with the Jewish people.  (2) Paul hoped that Agrippa might see the irony that he–a Jew who believed, as all Pharisee’s believe, in God’s promise of a resurrection–had been charged with preaching about The Resurrection.  v14, Kick against the goads (pricks):  A goad (prick) was a stick tipped with a pointed piece of iron.  Used to direct and guide livestock, a goad annoyed them to pick up the pace if they slowed while plowing.  Paul by persecuting Christians, had been challenging God’s authority, kicking against the goads (pricks).

John Gill’s Bible Exposition – v8, Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you,…. You Heathens and Sadducees; for the doctrine of The Resurrection of the dead was thought an incredible doctrine by the Heathens in general, that God should raise the dead; which may be understood, the Resurrection of Christ from the dead, which was not believed, neither by the Romans nor by the Jews, and neither by Pharisees nor Sadducees.  But since God is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent, and just and true, knows where every particle of a dead body lies, and can gather all together, and inspire with life.  v9, I verily thought with myself,…. that I ought to do many things contrary to the Name of Jesus of Nazareth; to Him, to His Religion, to His Gospel, and ordinances, and people; by blaspheming His Name, by denying Him to be The Messiah, and by persecuting His followers.

More to come and God Bless You.

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