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Paul and King Agrippa

Our sermon text will be Acts 25:13-26:32. Paul is given an audience before King Agrippa. This is not so much a trial, as Paul’s accusers were not there to make their charges, but more of a testimony. Since Agrippa was a Jew, he desired to hear what his fellow Jew, Paul, had to say. And since Festus realized that Agrippa could understand the Jewish culture better than he did, Festus desired to hear Agrippa’s interpretation of what Paul had to say.

As we read through this lengthy passage, there are several key statements that are made. The first key statement is made by Festus. He properly understood that the main issue which divided the Jews from Paul was the resurrection of Jesus. When describing the dispute between the Jews and Paul to Agrippa, Festus mentioned that it was “about a certain Jesus, who was dead, but whom Paul asserted to be alive.” (v. 19)

The second key statement is made by Paul. After explaining his conversion experience, Paul says, “so I stand here testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would come to pass: that the Christ must suffer and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles.” (v 22-23)

The third key statement is actually made in the form of a question. In verse 27, Paul applies pressure to King Agrippa to deal with the information he just heard. Paul asks, “King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets?” Apparently Paul asked this question rhetorically, because he immediately followed up his question with an answer. “I know that you believe.” (v 27)

Give some thought and consideration to these three key statements, for these statements will likely play a prominent position in the upcoming sermon.