Chapter Twenty-Six — Part Four: The Book of ActsBy: Pastors Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne
Publish date: 04/23/2023Foundation Scriptures:
1. Persecuted for Preaching.
a. Acts 26:19-21 NKJV — “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 repentance. 21 For these reasons the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me.
b. The Jews seized Paul and tried to kill him because he preached to them that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance.
c. In their religious pride and stubborn arrogance, the Jews refused to receive this message that would require of them a humble heart-change.
d. Paul preached to them out of obedience to the heavenly vision.
e. Galatians 1:11-12 KJV — But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. 12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
f. Once Paul had been instructed by Heaven, he did not try to argue, reason, or bargain with Heaven, neither did he seek man’s opinion, nor confer any more with flesh and blood (Galatians 1:15-17).
g. He promptly followed the Lord’s directions and went where he was sent, to do what he was told.
2. Proclaiming Light.
a. Acts 26:22a NKJV — Therefore, having obtained help from God,
b. Paul obtained help from God.
c. Help [only found in this passage] (Greek epikouria) – aid; succor; help; assistance.
d. Acts 26:22b NKJV — …to this day I stand, witnessing both to small and great,
e. Small (Greek mikros) – small (in size or number); least; less; little; small in rank or influence.
f. Great (Greek megas) – greater or larger in size, weight, or dimension; older; more important; higher or greater in rank, knowledge, ability, virtue, authority, power.
g. Paul was a witness to the Truth of the Gospel, before both significant and insignificant men (none of whom are insignificant to God).
h. Acts 26:22c NKJV — …saying no other things than those which the prophets and Moses said would come —
i. Paul preached no other doctrine than what been preached by Moses and the prophets and written in the Scriptures of the Old Testament.
j. Acts 26:23 NKJV — 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.”
k. The Old Testament testified that Christ the Messiah, would be born, would suffer and die, and be raised from the dead.
l. He would be the One who would proclaim light—and be the Light—to the Jews and the Gentiles.
a. Acts 26:24 NKJV — Now as he thus made his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you mad!”
b. Agrippa was the senior official, but Festus was obviously so convicted by what Paul had to say, that he forgot his place, and loudly and rudely interrupted Paul.
c. Learning (Greek gramma) – letters; learning; sacred scriptures.
d. Paul was much more educated than everyone else in that room.
e. Because Festus could not, or would not, understand these things, he proclaimed Paul to be mad, or insane.
f. Mad [only found in this passage] (Greek mania) – madness; frenzy; craziness.
g. Acts 26:25 NKJV — But he said, “I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak the words of truth and reason.
h. Mad (Greek mainomai) – to be mad; to rave; be beside oneself; not in one’s right mind.
i. They also accused Jesus of being mad (John 10:20).
j. Truth (Greek alētheia) – truth; candor; veracity.
k. Reason (Greek sōphrosynē) – soundness of mind; self-control: sobriety.
l. Both Paul and Jesus spoke the Words of Truth and reason.
a. Acts 26:26 NKJV — 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.
b. Now the spotlight is on Agrippa—he would have known all these things to be factual because Jesus was not crucified quietly, in a corner, but publicly and openly.
c. Acts 26:27 NKJV — King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you do believe.”
d. Paul can see and feel the conviction on Agrippa and calls him to commit.
e. Acts 26:28 NKJV — Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.”
f. Agrippa is convicted but does not allow himself to be convinced.
g. Almost (Greek oligos) – slightly; a little bit.
h. Acts 26:29 NKJV — 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.”
i. Paul’s earnest prayer was that, sooner or later, they would all become convinced, as he was, and receive Jesus as Lord and Savior.
j. Acts 26:30-31 NKJV — 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 chains.”
k. Although they did not allow themselves to be fully persuaded by his preaching at that time, they acknowledged his innocence.
l. Acts 26:32 NKJV — Then Agrippa said to Festus, “This man might have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.”
m. Once Paul appealed to Caesar, it was in the official record and could not be changed.
n. We cannot know if Agrippa would have set Paul free, or not; or if he used the appeal to Caesar to shield himself from responsibility concerning Paul.