Reflections on the Book of Acts #26: Agrippa

Here’s the link to Acts 26.

Paul gives his testimony to King Agrippa. Festus, also present, thinks Paul is crazy for believing in Jesus’ resurrection.

But what I love about this chapter is the little conversation between Paul and Agrippa. Knowing he believes in the prophets, Paul asks him if he believes his experience with Christ, the Messiah to whom the prophets all point.

I love Agrippa’s response to Paul’s question: Are you going to persuade me to become a Christian so easily?

He engages Paul. He doesn’t shut him down. He asks a question, inviting Paul to speak again. Even though he’s not convinced by Paul’s witness, he seems curious enough to keep talking with him.

And Paul responds in kind: I wish before God that whether easily or with difficulty, not only you but all who listen to me today might become as I am—except for these chains.

All Paul wants is to share Jesus. All he wants for those with whom he shares Jesus is for them to believe also.

Paul wants them to encounter Christ as he did.

And that part where he says whether easily or with difficulty makes me think that Paul understands how hard coming to faith will be for some.

I wonder if Agrippa had some sense of what it meant to follow Jesus. Maybe he saw Paul and other believers and the kind of commitment required. If he believed in the prophets, as Paul suggests, maybe he’s a God-Fearer, a Gentile worshiper of the God of Israel.

If you’ve been a person of faith for a long time and have been attending church most of your life, you might not get what a big deal it is to let Jesus into your life. Jesus doesn’t arrive in your life to add a little something to it; he arrives in your life to utterly transform it.

This will be a painful, challenging experience for some. Who knows what they will have to let go of or give up?

But it is simple conversations like the one Paul had with Agrippa that God uses to speak to the hearts of people about the good news. Some hearts are open, others are not. Why that is only God knows.

But it’s the sort of conversation I wish I had more often.

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