The Apostle Paul: Paul’s Defense before Agrippa

So Agrippa said to Paul, “You have permission to speak for yourself.” Then Paul stretched out his hand and made his defense:

“I consider myself fortunate that it is before you, King Agrippa, I am going to make my defense today against all the accusations of the Jews, especially because you are familiar with all the customs and controversies of the Jews. Therefore I beg you to listen to me patiently. 4 My manner of life from my youth, spent from the beginning among my own nation and in Jerusalem, is known by all the Jews. They have known for a long time, if they are willing to testify, that according to the strictest party of our religion I have lived as a Pharisee. And now I stand here on trial because of my hope in the promise made by God to our fathers, to which our twelve tribes hope to attain, as they earnestly worship night and day. And for this hope I am accused by Jews, O king! Why is it thought incredible by any of you that God raises the dead?”  (Acts 26:1–8 (ESV)

Governor Festus (24:37), the Roman procurator for Judea, assembled in Caesarea’s audience hall a great collection of dignitaries, including the Palestinian King Agrippa II and his sister Bernice, to come and hear the Apostle Paul. Festus did this in order to come to some consensus of what charges to bring against Paul, since the apostle appealed to an audience with Caesar because of the Jews’ unfounded accusations against him (Acts 25:21-22).

King Agrippa II did not ask Paul any specific questions, but rather gave him permission to speak. This scene was a fulfillment of Jesus’ words about Paul, in that he would speak the Gospel before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel (Acts 9:15). Jesus said to his disciples not to fear such situations as this, because the Holy Spirit would provide the appropriate words (Matthew 10:19-20).

Paul spoke intelligently, logically, persuasively, and passionately about his personal faith in Jesus Christ. He began with his childhood, and being raised to become a Pharisee. Paul made it very clear that he was imprisoned and on trial because of the biblical truth of the resurrection of the dead.

Paul’s message to Agrippa paralleled what he shared with the Jews in Jerusalem (Acts 22:1-21). The truth of the resurrection was reverently believed by the Pharisees and the Jewish people in general, but rejected by the more liberal and powerful Sadducees.

Are you familiar with the old hymn, “I Love to Tell the Story?” Paul loved to tell the story of his conversion and faith in Jesus Christ. Are you also glad to tell people what Jesus Christ has done for you? Doing so brings Him glory.

I love to tell the story
Of unseen things above
Of Jesus and his glory
Of Jesus and his love

I love to tell the story
Because I know ’tis true
It satisfies my longings
As nothing else can do

I love to tell the story
‘Twill be my theme in glory
To tell the old, old story
Of Jesus and his love

I love to tell the story
For those who know it best
Seem hungering and thirsting
To hear it like the rest

And when in scenes of glory
I sing the new, new song
‘Twill be the old, old story
That I have loved so long

I love to tell the story
‘Twill be my theme in glory
To tell the old, old story
Of Jesus and his love

Soli deo Gloria!

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