Evening Bible Study
Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel
preached? Does is address the person who is: Empty,
lonely, guilty, afraid to die? Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it
build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision Is the church loved? Target 4400 words
National Day of Prayer
Try the YouVersion “Live” / Online notes
On the day of Pentecost, the church was born. It began with the Holy Spirit
filling the believers. As the apostles preached about Jesus, the church began
By chapter seven, the church was beginning to experience persecution.
Stephen was the first one to die for his faith. One of the main men behind the
persecution was a man named Saul. But when Saul headed for the city of Damascus
to pursue the Christians there, he was knocked off his horse by a bright light
and he met Jesus. Saul is more well known by his Roman
By chapter 10, the gospel began to reach even the Gentiles, starting with a
Roman Centurion named Cornelius.
In chapter 13, we began a new section of Acts as we began to focus on the
ministry of Paul.
We followed Paul on three different journeys as he planted churches in
cities like Ephesus, Philippi, and Corinth.
On his third journey, while Paul was in Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover,
a riot breaks out in the Temple, and the Jews try to seize Paul and put him to
Some of the unbelieving Jews thought that Paul had brought a Gentile into
the Temple because they had seen him walking around town with a Gentile.
He had not.
The Romans stepped in to take Paul away from the crowd, but Paul was
allowed first to speak to the crowd.
Paul gave his first defense to the crowd, but they only went wild when he
mentioned that Jesus had sent him to preach to the Gentiles.
Paul’s next defense was before the Sanhedrin.
When the Romans find out that there is a Jewish conspiracy to have Paul
killed, they send him to Caesarea at night to be held for trial before the
Paul’s third defense was before Felix the governor in Caesarea.
Two years later Paul would give his fourth defense before a new governor, Porcius Festus.
When Festus suggested they might move the trial to Jerusalem, Paul made his
official appeal to Caesar, requiring Festus to send him to Rome for trial
instead of Jerusalem.
A few days later, Festus is visited by King Agrippa and his sister Bernice.
Agrippa indicates he’d like to hear Paul, and Festus agrees to one last hearing
with Paul. Festus is hoping that Agrippa might be able to help him when it
comes to writing up the charges against Paul in the paperwork he’d be sending
26:1-11 Life Before Christ
:1 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You are permitted
to speak for yourself.” So Paul stretched out his hand and answered for
:1 stretched out his hand and answered
Instead of a small courtroom, it is thought that Paul was standing on the
stage in the “theater” in Caesarea with Agrippa, Bernice, and Festus sitting in
the center of the seating at the “bema”
Video: Caesarea Theater Bema
Paul lifts up his hand as a dramatic oratorical gesture.
There is probably some clinking and clanking heard since Paul is in chains.
We’re going to see that Paul’s “defense” is his testimony.
He’s going to talk about his life “before” meeting Jesus.
He’s going to talk about how he “met” Jesus.
He’s going to talk about his life “after” meeting Jesus.
Your “testimony” is the same. Share
what you were like before meeting Jesus.
Share how you came to Christ.
Share how your life changed after meeting Jesus.
:2 “I think myself happy, King Agrippa, because today
I shall answer for myself before you concerning all the things of which I am
accused by the Jews,
:2 I shall answer for myself before you
Last week we mentioned that Jesus
had prepared His disciples, warning them about some of the difficult times ahead.
(Matthew 10:16–20 NKJV) —16 “Behold,
I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents
and harmless as doves. 17 But
beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in
their synagogues. 18 You will
be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as
a testimony to them and to the Gentiles.
Paul is before both a governor AND
Paul’s “defense” will be a
testimony, a “witness” to them.
19 But when they deliver you up, do not
worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; 20 for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father
who speaks in you.
The Holy Spirit isn’t going to give
Paul some new thing to say. Paul’s testimony before Agrippa will be very
consistent with what he’s already said before several times.
:3 especially because you are expert in all
customs and questions which have to do with the Jews. Therefore I beg you to
hear me patiently.
:3 expert in all customs and questions
Festus was a pagan Roman. He was new on the job in Palestine and didn’t
have a clue at all about Judaism.
Agrippa on the other hand was considered a “king of the Jews”.
Even though he was an Edomite by lineage, his role as king (under Roman
authority) was very entwined with Judaism.
One of his duties was to be the one who appointed the high priest.
Shortly before Festus had arrived to assume the role of governor, Agrippa
had appointed a man named Ishmael as the high priest. This was the man bringing charges against
Paul earlier before Festus.
Ishmael didn’t have a good
reputation. Josephus records that Ishmael had goon squads who would forcefully
take people’s tithes from them, and there was no authority willing to stand up
8. (179) About this time king
Agrippa gave the high priesthood to Ismael, who was the son of Fabi. (180) And now arose a sedition between the high
priests and the principal men of the multitude of Jerusalem; each of whom got
them a company of the boldest sort of men, and of those that loved innovations,
about them, and became leaders to them; and when they struggled together, they
did it by casting reproachful words against one another, and by throwing stones
also. And there was nobody to reprove them; but these disorders were done after
a licentious manner in the city, as if it had no government over it. (181) And
such was the impudence and boldness that had seized on the high priests, that
they had the hardness to send their servants into the threshing floors, to take
away those tithes that were due to the priests, insomuch that it so fell out
that the poorer sort of the priests died for want. To this degree did the
violence of the seditious prevail over all right and justice.<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]>
:3 patiently – makrothumos – with longanimity,
:4 “My manner of life from my youth, which was
spent from the beginning among my own nation at Jerusalem, all the Jews know.
:4 My manner of life
Even though Paul was born in Tarsus of Cilicia, he was raised in Jerusalem
and taught by one of the greatest Jewish theologians of all time, Gamaliel.
(Acts 22:3 NKJV) —3 “I am
indeed a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the
feet of Gamaliel, taught according to the strictness
of our fathers’ law, and was zealous toward God as you all are today.
:5 They knew me from the first, if they were
willing to testify, that according to the strictest sect of our religion I
lived a Pharisee.
:5 I lived a Pharisee
Paul was not an outsider when it
came to things going on in the city of Jerusalem.
His early life was known by those
who lived in Jerusalem.
As a Pharisee, Paul held to a strict, orthodox view of Scripture.
While the Sadducees only believed the first five books of Moses to be
inspired, the Pharisees believed the entire Old Testament to be inspired by
The Pharisees believed in miracles and angels, while the Sadducees did not.
Sadducees didn’t believe in a life after death, but the Pharisees believed
in the resurrection.
:5 strictest – akribestatos – exact, careful; of the strictest
sect: the most precise and rigorous in interpreting the Mosaic law, and in
observing even the more minute precepts of the law and tradition
Jesus said of the Pharisees,
(Matthew 23:23–24 NKJV) —23 “Woe to
you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and
cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters
of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without
leaving the others undone. 24 Blind
guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!
The Pharisees would be so concerned
that they paid their “tithe” correctly that they would go through their little
herb gardens hanging outside the kitchen window and count how many mint leaves
there were and give God one tenth of them.
The Law of Moses said that the
people were not to eat blood with their meat (Deut. 12:23), and this would lead
to special methods of slaughtering animals in order to drain the blood out of
the animal before cooking it for dinner.
(Deuteronomy 12:23 NKJV) —23 Only
be sure that you do not eat the blood, for the blood is the life; you
may not eat the life with the meat.
The Pharisees took
this so literally that if they accidentally yawned and a gnat buzzed into their
mouth and they swallowed it, they would try to vomit up the gnat to be sure
they didn’t eat the “blood” with the “meat”.
Paul was this kind of a religious
person – strict to the extreme.
:6 And now I stand and am judged for the hope of
the promise made by God to our fathers.
:6 the hope of the promise
The Pharisees believed in a future.
There was a coming future Messiah.
God spoke to the serpent in the
(Genesis 3:15 NKJV) And I
will put enmity Between you and the woman, And
between your seed and her Seed; He shall
bruise your head, And you
shall bruise His heel.”
God spoke to Abraham:
(Genesis 22:18 NKJV) In your
seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”
God spoke to David about a future king from his descendants:
(2 Samuel 7:13
NKJV) He shall build a house for My name, and I
will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.
There would also be a future resurrection for everyone:
(Daniel 12:2 NKJV)
And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to
everlasting life, Some to shame and everlasting contempt.
:7 To this promise our twelve tribes,
earnestly serving God night and day, hope to attain. For this hope’s
sake, King Agrippa, I am accused by the Jews.
:7 hope to attain
This is the goal of those Jews who believe in a resurrection. They want to
be raised to everlasting life.
So why should Paul be jailed because he too
believed in the resurrection, and more specifically that Jesus rose from the
:8 Why should it be thought incredible by you that
God raises the dead?
:8 thought incredible
If there is a God, and He is our Creator, what’s the big deal about God
raising the dead?
:9 “Indeed, I myself thought I must do many things
contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
:10 This I also did in Jerusalem, and many of the saints I shut up in
prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were
put to death, I cast my vote against them.
:10 many of the saints I shut up in
saints – hagios – “holy ones”, based on a word connected with God’s “holiness”.
It means “set apart ones”. People who have been set
apart for God’s use.
Those in the Catholic or Orthodox tradition might use this word to describe
extra special Christians who have been honored by the church.
Last weekend the Roman Catholic Church held a special ceremony “canonizing”
the last two popes, making them official “saints”.
But I don’t think Agrippa is thinking of these things. I think he’s simply
hearing the word “holy ones” – a word Paul is using to describe Christian
The Bible doesn’t use this word to describe a special class of believers. It
is used to describe all believers.
When you put your faith in Jesus Christ, God made you a “saint”. He set you
apart for His use.
:10 I cast my vote against
vote – psephos – a small worn smooth stone, in ancient courts of justice the
accused were condemned by black pebbles and the acquitted by white
Some use this to say that Paul was a member of the Sanhedrin. It may just
mean that he was in favor of killing Christians.
This word (“vote” – psephos)
is only found in one other passage:
NKJV) “He who has an ear, let him hear what the
Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the
hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new
name written which no one knows except him who receives it.” ’
Paul voted “against” the saints, using a black stone.
Jesus votes “for” the saints, using a white stone.
Jesus is “for” you, not against you.
Paul wrote to the Romans:
8:31 NKJV) What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us,
who can be against us?
I want to show you a video about human love in marriage. But I want to preface is by saying that Paul
tells us that marriage is supposed to be a picture of how Jesus loves us.
He loves you. Like
:11 And I punished them often in every synagogue
and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly enraged against
them, I persecuted them even to foreign cities.
:11 compelled them to blaspheme
Blasphemy for the Christian was denying that Jesus was the Christ.
This is a horrible picture of a man gone berserk, a maniac on the loose
looking for Christians, forcing them to deny Jesus or die.
Jesus can save the worst.
This was one horrible, crazy guy.
In reality, none of us have ever been “good enough” for God’s grace.
Yet God’s love is great enough, and Jesus’ blood is strong enough, that no
sin is too great, no sinner too foul, no person too far away for God to love.
O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing
– Charles Wesley
O for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer’s
The glories of my God and King, the triumphs of His
My gracious Master and my God, assist me to
To spread through all the earth abroad
the honors of Thy name.
Jesus! The name that charms our fears, that bids
our sorrows cease,
‘Tis music in the sinner’s ears, ‘Tis life
and health and peace.
He breaks the power of cancelled sin, He sets the
His blood can make the foulest clean, His blood availed
If God could save Paul, He can save you.
:11 I persecuted them even to
persecuted – dioko – to make to
run or flee, put to flight, drive away; to pursue (in a hostile manner); in any
way whatever to harass, trouble, molest one; to persecute
Some people just don’t know when to quit.
They will take one offense and pursue it to the ends of the earth.
Paul was such a person.
When someone with this kind of an ax to grind changes, you ought to pay
26:12-18 Paul Meets Jesus
We now see the second part of Paul’s testimony – how he met Jesus.
:12 “While thus occupied, as I journeyed to
Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests,
:12 from the chief priests
Paul is being prosecuted by the chief priests, yet he used to work for
:13 at midday, O king, along the road I saw a
light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and those who
journeyed with me.
:14 And when we all had fallen to the ground, I
heard a voice speaking to me and saying in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul,
why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the
:14 Saul, Saul
This was Paul’s Hebrew name. Paul was his Roman name.
:14 why are you persecuting Me?
persecute – dioko – to make to
run or flee, put to flight, drive away; to pursue (in a hostile manner); in any
way whatever to harass, trouble, molest one; to persecute
Jesus uses the same word Paul used
to describe how he “persecuted” the believers even to foreign cities (26:11).
What affects Jesus
Jesus told a parable to describe
one way in which the final judgment will work.
Jesus described a shepherd King separating
the sheep from the goats. When the various parties being judged questioned the
King as to what He based his judgment on…
(Matthew 25:40 NKJV) And the King will
answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it
to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
Paul wrote to the Corinthians that
they as a church were a part of something bigger than they were:
(1 Corinthians 12:27 NKJV) Now you
are the body of Christ, and members individually.
If you are a believer tonight, I
want to let you know that when people persecute you for being a believer, they
are actually persecuting Jesus.
We ought to be a little more
compassionate on them, perhaps feel a little sorry for them for the trouble
they are in.
We also ought to be a little more
careful as to how we treat other believers.
They too are a part of the body of
:14 kick against the goads
This was a Greek proverb used to describe useless resistance.
A “goad” was a long wooden rod used to prod an animal to move.
God had been prodding Saul towards Jesus, but Saul had been resisting God.
:15 So I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.
I would have imagined that Paul took a big gulp when he heard that.
:16 But rise and stand on your feet; for I have
appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of
the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to
:16 minister – huperetes – an under-rower; a servant; the
attendants of a king
Agrippa would understand this word.
He has these kinds of servants. Jesus is a king making Paul his servant.
This is not a description of
“grandeur” (like “prime minister”) but a word describing obedience to another’s
:16 witness – martus – a witness; one who is a spectator of
anything; the word is primarily a legal word like the person giving testimony
at a trial.
We think of “witnessing” as telling
people about Jesus, but it is primarily a legal term.
Paul is right now literally a
“witness”. He is on trial for what he believes.
:16 you have seen … I will yet reveal …
Paul would not only be telling
people about his encounter with Jesus, but Jesus would continue to teach and
work through Paul.
:17 I will deliver you from the Jewish
people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you,
:18 to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness
to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive
forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith
:18 to open their eyes
This is what we are hoping to do when we share our faith.
We want to open peoples’ eyes to the truth.
:18 from darkness to light
Without Jesus, we are in darkness.
NKJV) —19 And this is the condemnation, that
the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light,
because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to
the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to
the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in
:18 the power of Satan to God
power – exousia – the
power of authority (influence)
Before Jesus came into our lives, we were under the authority of Satan.
Jesus sets us free from Satan’s power.
Paul would write to Timothy:
2:24–26 NKJV) —24 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all,
able to teach, patient, 25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps
will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26 and that
they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil,
having been taken captive by him to do his will.
:18 receive forgiveness of sins
This is at the heart of what the gospel (“good news”) is all about.
From the very beginning of Jesus’ ministry, this is what it was all about. John
the Baptist saw it from the start:
(John 1:29 NKJV) The next
day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who
takes away the sin of the world!
Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins and make it possible
for us to be forgiven.
:18 an inheritance among those who are
sanctified by faith in Me
The inheritance we receive from God is eternal life with Him.
The inheritance of God is for those who have been “sanctified”, those who
have been made holy, those who have been set apart for
To be sanctified, one needs to have faith.
Sanctification is also a process we will go through for the rest of our
lives, becoming more and more pure, more and more like Jesus, more and more
But it starts by faith. It starts by believing in Jesus.
Salvation comes by faith.
26:19-23 Paul after Conversion
This is the third part of Paul’s testimony – what he did after meeting
: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
:20 repent … works befitting repentance
repent – metanoeo – to change one’s mind, i.e. to repent
The message of the apostles from the very beginning was “repent”.
When the crowd at Pentecost asked Peter what they needed to do…
2:38 NKJV) Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be
baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall
receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
The root idea of “repent” has to do with what’s going on in your head – to
“change your mind”.
It’s to change your mind about your sin – to admit that
you’ve been going the wrong way in life and you need to turn around.
It’s to change your mind about God – that you need Him and
need to trust Him.
The question is, what does repentance look
like? How can you tell if a person has “changed
their mind”? Is it by raising their hand
Repentance starts on the inside, and if it is real, then it manifests
itself by a change on the outside.
Paul’s message was that people needed to demonstrate their “repentance”
(change of mind) by doing works that proved they had changed their mind.
Some people have the concept of repentance confused, thinking that
“repentance” is the outward change, the “actions”, but it’s not. It starts on the inside.
It’s exactly what James teaches:
2:14–20 NKJV) —14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has
faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a
brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of
you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give
them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also
faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18 But
someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith
without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You
believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and
tremble! 20 But do you
want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?
Some people have the idea that there is a conflict between
James’ theology and Paul’s theology.
There is no contradiction.
Both of them are saying that if you truly believe, then it
will be shown by the kind of life you live.
Salvation comes solely by faith, by choosing to believe.
The question is how do we know you really have genuine
faith? The proof is in the change of life, the kind of works produced in your
:21 For these reasons the Jews seized me in the
temple and tried to kill me.
:21 For these reasons
Specifically, the Jews had trouble that Paul would be having anything to do
with the Gentiles.
: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.”
:22 the prophets and Moses
The message of the gospel was that Jesus died and rose from the dead.
This message was written about by Moses and the prophets. Here are some
Isaiah wrote of the suffering:
(Isaiah 53:5 NKJV)
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised
for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His
stripes we are healed.
David wrote of the resurrection:
NKJV) For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
:23 the first to rise from the dead
There were a few others who had rose from the dead chronologically before
Jesus, but they were not the same type of resurrections.
One of those was Jesus’ friend Lazarus. But Lazarus would eventually die a
normal death, again.
Jesus was the first to rise from the dead, never to die again.
:23 light … to the Gentiles
The Old Testament even spoke of the light going to those hated Gentiles. For example:
NKJV) …I will also give You as a light to the
Gentiles, That You
should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.’ ”
26:24-32 Response to Paul
Now that Paul has shared his testimony, there will be some reaction.
:24 Now as he thus made his defense, Festus said
with a loud voice, “Paul, you are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you
:24 Much learning is driving you mad!
The things Paul is talking about are exactly the kinds of things that
Festus has had a difficult time comprehending.
Earlier Paul had written to the Corinthians:
1:23 NKJV) but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and
to the Greeks foolishness,
:25 But he said, “I am not mad, most noble Festus,
but speak the words of truth and reason.
:25 most noble Festus
Notice that Paul doesn’t respond by criticizing Festus. He’s gracious.
Keep your head and keep it respectful when you are sharing Christ.
People get pretty worked up when they talk about God and what is right and
Some people aren’t ready to face the fact that they’ve been wrong and need
When they get mad at you, don’t
take it personally.
:26 For the king, before whom I also speak freely,
knows these things; for I am convinced that none of these things escapes his
attention, since this thing was not done in a corner.
:26 this thing was not done in a corner
The life of Jesus and preaching of His apostles were public knowledge.
:27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I
know that you do believe.”
:27 do you believe the prophets?
Give the invitation.
Paul simply asked Agrippa, “Do you believe?”
Sometimes we make it a bit too complicated for people to get across the
bridge of life into heaven…
Video: Monty Python Holy Grail –
Bridge of Death
It doesn’t have to be too difficult. Paul shared the gospel and asked if Agrippa
Sometimes we can share our testimony and the Scriptures, but fail to give
the opportunity for the person to commit their life to Christ.
We don’t want to offend.
I think it’s appropriate to let that person know that they need to make a
choice to follow Jesus.
You can simply ask, “Is there any reason why you wouldn’t want to accept
Christ right now?”
On the other hand, I think we need
to be careful about how we respond if they choose not to accept Christ.
Some folks “love ‘em and leave ‘em” – when a person
says “no”, they pack their bags, shake the dust off their feet, and never speak
again to the person.
I think we need to consider the
long term loving people into the kingdom.
:28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You almost
persuade me to become a Christian.”
:28 You almost persuade me to become a
almost – oligos – little,
small, few; of number: multitude, quantity, or size; of time: short; of degree
or intensity: light, slight
persuade – peitho – persuade;
Christian – Christianos –
Christian, a follower of Christ
The word is only used three times
in the NT –
(Acts 11:26 NKJV) —26 And when
he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year
they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the
disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.
(1 Peter 4:16 NKJV) —16 Yet if anyone
suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in
The real question is just how did Agrippa say this?
Was he sincerely expressing that he was close to becoming a Christian?
NASB95) Agrippa replied to Paul, “In a short time you will persuade
me to become a Christian.”
Was he rebuking Paul for thinking that he could make Agrippa a Christian so
(Acts 26:28 NLT) Agrippa
interrupted him. “Do you think you can persuade me to become a Christian so
(Acts 26:28 The Message) But
Agrippa did answer: “Keep this up much longer and you’ll make a Christian out
We don’t have any record that Agrippa became a Christian.
:29 And Paul said, “I would to God that not only
you, but also all who hear me today, might become both almost and altogether
such as I am, except for these chains.”
Paul gently reminds them of the injustice of his imprisonment for his
:30 When he had said these things, the king stood
up, as well as the governor and Bernice and those who sat with them;
:31 and when they had gone aside, they talked
among themselves, saying, “This man is doing nothing deserving of death or
:32 Then Agrippa said to Festus, “This man might
have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.”
:32 if he had not appealed to Caesar
Decisions & Mistakes
Sometimes it’s hard to make a decision.
Did Paul make a mistake in appealing to Caesar?
The problem is that sometimes we give ourselves “analysis paralysis”.
We are so afraid of making a wrong decision that we don’t make any
President Ronald Reagan learned the need for decision making early in his
life. A kindly aunt had taken him to a cobbler to have a pair of shoes
custom-made for him. The shoemaker asked, “Do you want a round toe or a square
toe?” Young Ronald hemmed and hawed, so the cobbler said, “Come back in a day
or two and tell me what you want.” A few days later the cobbler saw young Reagan
on the street and asked what he had decided about the shoes. “I haven’t made up
my mind,” Reagan answered. “Very well,” said the cobbler. “Your shoes will be
ready tomorrow.” When Reagan got the shoes, one had a round toe and the other a
square toe. Says Reagan, “Looking at those shoes every day
taught me a lesson. If you don’t make your own decisions, somebody else
makes them for you.”
Even if you want to hold the idea that Paul made a mistake appealing to
Caesar, our mistakes aren’t worthless…
It’s wise to not rush into decisions, but
at some time you probably should get off the dime and choose.
Even if you make a “mistake”, God can use
your mistakes. And you learn a little