The funny thing about this aspect of Paul’s journey was that he had to defend his faith and mission to the leadership throughout the Jewish and Roman World. He was not witnessing in bars and on street corners, he was standing in the courts and palaces on his way to Rome. He was witnessing to the Elite. While the position of the men he taught was very substantial, his message was clear and direct. Jesus is the only way to salvation to the rich or poor, Jew or Greek, Slave or free, Emperor or peasant.
That message is still true. We follow Christ because he is the only way to salvation. We cannot do enough, be enough or have enough to earn our way to heaven. We can only listen to the truth and follow the Lord to restore that relationship. Many have tried to circumvent the truth. We have built religion after religion to fit God into our box. But as Paul reminded Agrippa–there is still only one way to Heaven–Jesus Christ. We need not worry, fret or try to bend the truth. We need only follow confidently, knowing God is still large and in charge!!!
God Bless You
So Paul motioned with his hand and began his defense:2 “King Agrippa, I consider myself fortunate to stand before you today as I make my defense against all the accusations of the Jews,3 and especially so because you are well acquainted with all the Jewish customs and controversies. Therefore, I beg you to listen to me patiently…
King Agrippa, it is because of this hope that these Jews are accusing me. 8 Why should any of you consider it incredible that God raises the dead?
9 “I too was convinced that I ought to do all that was possible to oppose the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10 And that is just what I did in Jerusalem. On the authority of the chief priests I put many of the Lord’s people in prison, and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. 11 Many a time I went from one synagogue to another to have them punished, and I tried to force them to blaspheme. I was so obsessed with persecuting them that I even hunted them down in foreign cities.
12 “On one of these journeys I was going to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests. 13 About noon, King Agrippa, as I was on the road, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, blazing around me and my companions. 14 We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic,[a] ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’
15 “Then I asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’
“ ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ the Lord replied. 16 ‘Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen and will see of me. 17 I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them 18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’
19 “So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven. 20 First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and then to the Gentiles, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds.