- Acts 26:21-27
- Acts 26:21 (KJB)
- For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to
- Paul then declares that it was because of the message of the promise of
the fathers, especially concerning the resurrection is the reason that they
wanted to kill him. They would not even wait for Paul to finish worshipping
in the temple and grabbed him while he was still worshipping. Paulís words
are attesting to the fact that he suffered a very violent arrest. Paul
wanted them to know that the Jews were very disorderly and they were not
giving him the fair trial they claimed they would.
- Acts 26:22 (KJB)
- Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day,
witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those
which the prophets and Moses did say should come:
- Paul then declares that it has been God that has helped and protected
him during the times of these violent trials which he suffered in many
cities. It is because of Godís protecting hand that Paul was able to
continue preaching the Gospel, to both small and great crowds. Paul then
states that he did not change the message he taught from that of the ancient
prophets or Moses who had prophesied that the Messiah should come to Israel.
Paul was proclaiming the same message but it was the message that Christ had
come to earth already and is now back in Heaven building His church.
- Acts 26:23 (KJB)
- That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that
should rise from the dead, and should show light unto the people, and to the
- Paul was proclaiming that the Lord Jesus Christ was the long awaited
Messiah and although He was crucified and killed, He arose on the third day
and that is what has gotten the Jews in a violent mindset, their unbelief.
The Jews had no problem with the teaching that Christ had suffered because
many of them were around when this happened. What they hated was the fact
that Paul proclaimed His resurrection and the fact that He is alive now.
(1 Cor 15:20 KJV) But now is Christ risen from the dead, and
become the firstfruits of them that slept. When
Christ arose, that meant Godís approval of what He did on behalf of His
Elect and now the true Gospel would be proclaimed to the Jews, represented
by the term ďthe peopleĒ and then the Gentiles all over the world would hear
the Gospel. The first that should rise meant the first to be raised to never
die again. The ministry to the Gentiles had already started as Paul
began bringing it to different parts of the Roman Empire.
- Acts 26:24 (KJB)
- And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul,
thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad.
- Art beside thyself - Out of oneís mind or out of control
- Mad - Insane
- Festus probably was being convicted because of the powerful message that
Paul was preaching. He accused Paul of being so learned that it had caused
him to be insane and out of his mind. The Holy Spirit was working on Festus
and that conviction had caused him to lash out. Just like the Jews, Festus
was having a major problem with what Paul was teaching. Who knows, maybe we
will see Festus in Heaven if he became saved later on in life. I heard the
true Gospel for the first time when I was 12 and became saved at 27. All
true believers have their day of visitation. The attitude of Festus here is
one which is still going on today as people accuse us of being mad for
believing in ďreligious superstition.Ē Festus was probably familiar with
many of the philosophies of the day and many of them taught that the body
was evil and one needed to have contempt for it. The idea that a person will
be resurrected to live in the same body for eternity, would have been
reprehensible to groups like the Gnostics who also held the body in contempt
and this would have caused people to believe that Paul was crazy.
- Acts 26:25 (KJB)
- But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words
of truth and soberness.
- Soberness - Sound mind
- Paul had replied to Festus in a very courteous manner concerning the
fact that he is not mad but he is speaking from the point of truth which
permeates his mind making it a sound mind. We must remember that to the
unregenerate, what Paul was saying sounds like something hatched in a mad
manís mind. (1 Cor 1:18 KJV) For the preaching of the cross is to
them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of
God. Even the Scriptures teach that the preaching of
the cross is foolishness to the unsaved because this can only be acceptable
teaching when a person is saved and the Holy Spirit has regenerated their
mind from carnal to spiritual.
- Acts 26:26 (KJB)
- For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely:
for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this
thing was not done in a corner.
- Corner - Figurative for unnoticed or concealed
- Paul had now turned his attention to the King. He knew all about these
things especially if he was a student of the Hebrew Scriptures. Paul was
stating the same message that the prophets had spoken and Agrippa could
acknowledge the historical aspects of Paulís message concerning Abraham and
the other prophets which spoke the same message. The events which Paul had
spoken of were done in public and were not concealed. If they were
concealed, then maybe there could be cause for disbelief but the crucifixion
of Christ was done on a hill in view of all Jerusalem along with the sun
going dark for three hours. Paul was totally persuaded that since Agrippa
was of the ruling class, he would have had inside knowledge of the events
surrounding the ministry of Jesus including His death and resurrection. Even
the Pharisees had to admit that the miracle ministry of Jesus was
tremendous. Many of them were at the tomb of Lazarus when Jesus raised him
so King Agrippa would not have been void of this information having been
born in the house of Herod.
- Acts 26:27 (KJB)
- King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest.
- Then Paul asks King Agrippa a very pointed question. Do you believe the
prophets? Of course, he had to say yes because he knew that the prophets
were as authoritative as any other part of the Hebrew Scriptures, including
the first five books of Moses. However, King Agrippa was in a situation
where if he agreed with Paul, then he would have to give approbation to
Paulís message. Maybe he kept quiet at this point because Festus would then
group Agrippa in with Paul as being mad. Paul knew that he believed them
since he was a student of the Scriptures. No one who disbelieves the
Scriptures is going to become an expert in them and study them for years.