Agrippa's Decision

Acts 26:24–27:8 (NKJV)

24 Now as he thus made his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you mad!”
25 But he said, “I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak the words of truth and reason. 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. 27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you do believe.”
28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You almost persuade me to become 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.”
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 chains.”
32 Then Agrippa said to Festus, “This man might have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.”

Acts 26:24 – 32

Agrippa has heard Paul’s defense, and initially tells him that he is insane. Paul responds by reminding Agrippa of the facts of the past few years, and that Agrippa knows his story very well. He asks a question of which he already knows the answer. He asks if Agrippa knows the prophets’ writings, and if he believes them, and then affirms his own answer. Agrippa gives Paul some credit, saying that he almost persuaded him to become a Christian. Paul replies that he wishes that not only Agrippa, but also all the world would become a Christian life Paul, except for the chains in which he lives. When Agrippa consulted with Festus and Bernice, they agreed that Paul was not guilty of any capital crime, and could have been set free…but he had appealed to Caesar!

Some contend that Paul made a mistake. Some feel that Paul could have been free to do more missionary work had he not made this appeal. Some second-guessed Paul, trying to think of how they would have done things better had they been in his shoes. This sounds a lot like how people react to our situations, even today! When others tell you where you went wrong, don’t defend yourself. Just do what you know God had spoken to your heart, and carry on. If God called you to it, He will bring you through it. Be encouraged.

1 And when it was decided that we should sail to Italy, they delivered Paul and some other prisoners to one named Julius, a centurion of the Augustan Regiment. 2 So, entering a ship of Adramyttium, we put to sea, meaning to sail along the coasts of Asia. Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica, was with us. 3 And the next day we landed at Sidon. And Julius treated Paul kindly and gave him liberty to go to his friends and receive care. 4 When we had put to sea from there, we sailed under the shelter of Cyprus, because the winds were contrary. 5 And when we had sailed over the sea which is off Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra, a city of Lycia. 6 There the centurion found an Alexandrian ship sailing to Italy, and he put us on board.
7 When we had sailed slowly many days, and arrived with difficulty off Cnidus, the wind not permitting us to proceed, we sailed under the shelter of Crete off Salmone. 8 Passing it with difficulty, we came to a place called Fair Havens, near the city of Lasea.

Acts 27:1-8

Luke here chronicles the actual route the party followed on its way to Rome. While there is not much excitement in the actual shipping lanes and paths, the allusions to the weather is foreboding of the storms that may lie ahead. Paul’s journey had never been easy, and now it was about to be threatening to him and others. However–as will be seen in the next few passages–God continued to use Paul to help others find their way to salvation. When the journey is long, and even a little bumpy, do not despair. Keep trusting Jesus, and know that He will see you through! Child of God, live undaunted….

From Caesarea to Fair Havens

Artwork from https://www.biblecartoons.co.uk/cartoons/acts-27-paul-sails-for-rome-scene-01-centurion-julius and Logos Bible Software Atlas.

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