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2017 August 20
Trial of the Apostle Paul (1875)
Nikolas Kornilievich Bodarevsky (1850-1921)
Realism Style; Peredvizhniki Artistic Movement
Transcarpathian Regional Art Museum, Uzhhorod, Ukraine
Image Source: Wikimedia
Explanation: In Acts 26, Agrippa told Paul that he was permitted to speak for himself. Paul was happy to do so, especially since Agrippa was an expert in Jewish matters. He began by explaining a bit of his background. Paul said that he had been raised in Jerusalem as a Pharisee. He now stood on trial because of his hope in the promise of the resurrection which God made to the Jewish forefathers. He was convinced that he was doing the right thing by opposing the name of Jesus of Nazareth by imprisoning believers, condemning many of them to death, and trying to make them blaspheme (repudiate) Jesus. He perused them even to foreign cities (1-11). On his way to Damascus Jesus appeared to him and rebuked him for persecuting him and his followers. Jesus then commissioned him to bear witness to him, especially among the Gentiles. Paul was obedient and preached that men should repent and turn to God. It was for this reason that the Jews seized him in the Temple and tried to kill him. However, his message was consistent with Moses and the prophets who said that Christ must suffer, rise from the dead, and be a light to the Jews and the Gentiles (12-23).
But Festus told Paul that he was out of his mind. Paul denied it and spoke to Agrippa. He noted that Agrippa knew about these things and believed the prophets. Agrippa asked Paul if he was trying to persuade him to be a Christian. Paul acknowledged that his desire was that Agrippa and all who heard him would be as he was except for his bonds. Agrippa then left the chamber with Felix and Bernice. In private, Agrippa said that Paul had done nothing worthy of death or imprisonment; and, if he had not appealed to Caesar, he might have been set free (24-32).
[Sermons: Neal Mathias. Various. ]
[Illustration: Today's painting illustrates Paul's ongoing trial before Festus, Agrippa, and Bernice, as described in today's chapter, ]
[THEMATICALLY AND CHRONOLOGICALLY RELATED SCRIPTURES:
Acts 26:1-32: Acts 21 - 28; Luke 1:2; James 1:1; 2 Corinthians 12:1-10; Galatians 1:12; Isaiah 61:1; Luke 4:18; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Luke 3:7-8. ]
[ CHRONOLOGY: GENERAL. Patriarchs (Traditional). Judges # 1. Judges # 2. Kings # 1. Kings # 2. Prophets # 1. Prophets # 2. NT # 1. NT # 2. NT # 3. ]
[ MAPS: Maps # 1. Maps # 2. Maps # 3. Maps # 4. Maps # 5. ]
[ COMMENTARIES, ETC: GENERAL: Bible Study Tools; Bible Hub: Study Light; Blue Letter Bible // PSALMS: Monergism: Precept Austin: The Treasury of David; John Gill; John Calvin - Volumes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
[ MUSIC: GENERAL: The Cyber Hymnal // PSALMS: Genevan Psalter (Instrumental). VARIOUS ARTISTS: Micha'el Ben David. Sons of Korah. Fernando Ortega. Janet Isaac Morrison. Music of the Bible Revealed - Suzanne Haik-Vantoura. Dr. David Erb. Gregorian Chants. ]
*** For Additional word studies use one of the Greek Interlinear Bibles below. ***
2. Focus on the Ministry of Paul & his Companions (Ac 13:1 - Ac 28:31) - 48 A.D. - 62 A.D. Israel; Mediterranean Region
1 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Thou art permitted to speak for thyself. Then Paul stretched forth the hand, and answered for himself:
2 I think myself happy, king Agrippa, because I shall answer for myself this day before thee touching all the things whereof I am accused of the Jews:
3 Especially because I know thee to be expert in all customs and questions which are among the Jews: wherefore I beseech thee to hear me patiently.
4 My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews;
5 Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.
6 And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers:
7 Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope's sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews.
8 Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?
9 I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.
10 Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice [cast my pebble] against them.
11 And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities.
12 Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests,
13 At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me.
14 And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
15 And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.
16 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;
17 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,
18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
19 Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision:
20 But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.
21 For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me.
22 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:
23 That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.
24 And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad.
25 But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness.
26 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.
27 King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest.
28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost [in a little] thou persuadest me to be a Christian.
29 And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost [in a little], and altogether [in much] such as I am, except these bonds.
30 And when he had thus spoken, the king rose up, and the governor, and Bernice, and they that sat with them:
31 And when they were gone aside, they talked between themselves, saying, This man doeth nothing worthy of death or of bonds.
32 Then said Agrippa unto Festus, This man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed unto Caesar.
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